World Lula's arrest leaves volatile Brazil stumbling

15:07  10 april  2018
15:07  10 april  2018 Source:   AFP

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Read more. French police arrest 6 for 2016 police couple killing. Read more. 08:42 AFP. Lula ' s arrest leaves volatile Brazil stumbling .

- Loved on the left -. Lula was convicted last year of taking a luxury apartment as a kickback from a big construction company. Brazil Is Bracing for the Arrest of Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Brazil ' s Lula defies prison order, creating standoff.

ormer president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's imprisonment on corruption charges is seen as creating further divisions in politically polarized Brazil: Former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's imprisonment on corruption charges is seen as creating further divisions in politically polarized Brazil© Provided by AFP Former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's imprisonment on corruption charges is seen as creating further divisions in politically polarized Brazil The imprisonment of ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has given already chaotic Brazil another push down an ever more unpredictable future.

His arrest on Saturday took place against a backdrop of impassioned speeches, crying supporters, demonstrations and tear gas fired by riot police. It was not the picture of a country at ease with itself.

"The climate of polarization and radicalization... worries us all," warned Public Security Minister Raul Jungmann.

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Brasília (AFP) - The imminent jailing of Brazil ' s Lula may have dealt a crippling blow to the country' s left , but it has also shaken up their political rivals on the right, most of whom are also under investigation for graft. There has been a deafening silence around the arrest of Luiz Inacio.

Compartilhe. emonstrators block highway road in Natal to protest Lula ' s arrest / MST. Social movements and individuals outraged over the This is bringing the left together and will generate an even greater process of organization in Brazil 's democracy,” Landless Workers’ Party’s Jaime

With six months to go before a presidential election, Lula's imprisonment for corruption has created ever deeper divisions.

He is the frontrunner, according to polls, yet is hated just as much as he loved, known alternately as "warrior of the Brazilian people" and simply "bandit." Some ask whether an election without such an outsized player can be considered fair.

"Brazil is going through a democratic crisis, a crisis that reveals that the political and judicial systems are exhausted and under huge tension," said Christophe Ventura, at the Institute of International and Strategic Relations in France.

Volatility

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The federal judge gave Lula until 5 p.m. Friday to turn himself in to the police. The deadline came and went, but the embattled former president said he would await his arrest at a union house, according to his lawyer Jose Roberto Batochio. Sourse: sputniknews.com. Brazil Police Postpone Lula ’ s Arrest

Brazil ' s election frontrunner and controversial leftist icon Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Saturday finally walked out of the building where he had been holed up for two days and attended a Catholic Mass ahead of his expected arrest for corruption. Lula , 72, got a rock star' s welcome from thousands of

Lula's almost certain exit from the election has sent the other candidates scrambling.

His own Workers' Party is in the lurch, since he is by far their most popular figure. He'll keep on being a candidate, even from behind bars -- and hoping to get out -- but it's clearly a risky strategy.

"The imprisonment of Lula symbolizes the end of an era," said Andre Cesar at Hold consultants.

Ventura argues that Lula's conviction for accepting a seaside apartment as a bribe from a huge construction company was not convincing enough to merit knocking the leftist out of the race.

"The country has been through some unstable and crazy times but this is unprecedented. Never in Brazil has a former president been imprisoned on such a controversial conviction," he said.

The Supreme Court could change a law in a vote this week that would effectively win Lula's release. If that happens it would signal "total uncertainty and volatility in Brazilian political life," Ventura said.

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Brazil ' s former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, left , and his lawyer Cristiano Zanin leave the Lula Institute building in Sao Paulo, Brazil , Thursday, April 5, 2018. Federal judge Sergio Moro on Thursday issued an arrest warrant for da Silva

Loved on the left Lula was convicted last year of taking a luxury apartment as a kickback from a big construction company. Corruption taint However, Lula ’ s imminent arrest is being celebrated by many Brazilians . Detractors say that Lula epitomizes Brazil ’s corruption-riddled elite and his conviction

Adding to the tension, the head of the army, General Eduardo Villas Boas, made a call last week that appeared to demand Lula's imprisonment -- a rare and, some say, disturbing intervention into politics by a top officer.

It comes at a time when the army is playing an ever higher profile role after President Michel Temer ordered the military to take over security in Rio de Janeiro, where police struggle to cope with violent crime.

Corruption war

A big driver of instability in Brazil is a four-year war on corruption known as operation "Car Wash."

The crusade has investigated or convicted scores of politicians, including Lula, and seen the filing of corruption charges against Temer, although for now he is protected by presidential immunity.

With 12.6 percent unemployment, "the combination of economic recession and quasi-pornographic exposure of corruption is explosive," Folha de S.Paulo newspaper said.

It's a mix that has seen a remarkable rise for Jair Bolsonaro, a right-wing former army officer who praises the dictatorship of 1964-85 and whose platform is heavy on law-and-order.

Bolsonaro, who comes only second to Lula in polls, has also stirred up his base by capitalizing on widespread dislike of Lula.

Even imprisoned, the leftist icon continues to raise warring emotions. For some he is a political prisoner, while others see him as a showman who knows how to manipulate his followers and Brazil's institutions.

A recent campaign trip by Lula saw his buses attacked with eggs, stones and even gunshots.

An O Globo editorial blamed him: "with his rhetoric of hatred he creates the greater potential for attacks and violence."

As Ventura said, now "anything can happen."

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