Brazil's Workers Party backs Lula bid despite ineligibility

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Former Brazilian presidents Dilma Rousseff (L) and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva are pictured, during a campaign rally to launch Lula's presidential candidacy for the upcoming October elections, at the Workers Central Union (CUT) headquarters in Sao Paulo, Brazil on January 25, 2018.

Still, Brazil's Workers' Party, the ex-president's party, released a statement saying that regardless of his lost appeal, the former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva will continue to be their presidential candidate.

Lula denied on Wednesday receiving a seafront apartment from a construction company in exchange for bribes after three judges increased his jail term from 9.5 years to 12 years and a month. They also added 2-1/2 years to his sentence, condemning him to 12 years in prison.

Lula is a hero to many Brazilians and remains popular, despite the corruption charges he faces.

Mr. Lula, 72, could now be ineligible to stand for election under Brazil's "Ficha Limpa" or "Clean Record" law, which bans political candidates whose convictions have been upheld by an appellate court.

It went on to note that "if they believe that this history ends with the judgment (handed to Lula) today, they are very fooled, because we will not surrender before this injustice".

But Lula still has options. However, the deadline to register as a candidate is August 15.

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However, final decisions on candidacies are made by Brazil's electoral court, and da Silva has several avenues to appeal to higher courts.

Lula said that the judges had failed to produce any incriminating evidence against him.

"I want to be candidate to win the elections and govern this country", he said to a crowd that chanted "Lula for president". "They can not jail ideas or hope".

Brazil's currency, the real, firmed 3 percent against the US dollar, leading gains in Latin America.

Instead it may open the field for more right of center candidates with clear market-friendly stances. "You have to put the Brazilian people in motion". It focuses on graft involving oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro, known as Petrobras, and other state-run companies. Lula maintains he never owned the penthouse apartment, criticising prosecutors for relying on the plea bargain testimony of one witness, businessman Leo Pinheiro.

Lula's supporters call the ruling a "farce" orchestrated by his enemies to stop him returning to power.

"We will confirm Lula's (presidential) candidacy during our party convention and register him on August 15, rigorously adhering to the electoral legislation", the party said in a statement.

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