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News > Latin America

Brazil's Lula da Silva 'Likely' to Accept Cabinet Position

  • Dilma Rousseff with Lula da Silva

    Dilma Rousseff with Lula da Silva | Photo: Reuters

Published 15 March 2016
Opinion

The offer from President Dilma Rousseff comes amid an ongoing investigation into Lula, a case critics argue is being used to undermine the iconic leftist.

Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is reportedly set to take a position in President Dilma Rousseff's cabinet on Tuesday, according to press reports.

Brazil's O Globo and Reuters reported Tuesday that Lula has already accepted the post though this has not been confirmed. Lula was expected to accept the miniterial position, according to Brazil's top three newspapers, and to discuss plans with Rousseff in person on Tuesday in Brasilia.

The new position comes after a federal judge was given jurisdiction to rule over money laundering charges presented against Lula.

Any decision to arrest Lula would now be made by Federal Judge Sergio Moro, who is overseeing a major investigation into state-run oil firm Petrobras and has approved the detention of dozens of senior executives.

State prosecutors filed for the arrest of Lula last week after charging him with money laundering for concealing ownership of a beachfront condo, in a case that had been separate from the investigation overseen by Moro in the southern city of Curitiba.

Accepting a cabinet position gives Lula immunity from Moro, though not from Brazil's Supreme Court.

The investigation of Lula has bolstered calls for Rousseff to step down or be impeached. Hundreds of thousands of anti-government protesters flooded the streets Sunday.

But Lula has disavowed ownership of the apartment and denied any wrongdoing, calling the investigation political in nature.

RELATED: What You Need to Know About Brazil's Petrobas Scandal

His lawyer also condemned the decision to send the case to Curitiba, saying Moro should not have jurisdiction over the case and denying that Lula has anything to do with the Petrobras scandal.

With both Lula and Rousseff entangled in the affair, critics argue the Petrobas scandal is being used to discredit the leftist leaders. Following Sunday's protests against the government, Rousseff and Lula supporters responded by organizing major demonstrations in the form of cultural activities.

Event organizers say they are defending democracy in Brazil, and have denounced the anti-government campaign as being orchestrated by the media, corporations and other right-wing sectors of society.

Supporters say that as long as the threats against Rousseff and Lula persist, they will continue their movement of support, including a mass demonstration called for March 18, organized by the national labor union.

WATCH: The Daily Brief: President Lula to Testify Over Corruption Charges

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