Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced that he will formally register as the Workers Party (PT) presidential candidate on Tuesday, one day before the August 15 deadline.
"They will not shut me up," began a letter written by the political leader held in a Curitiba prison since early April.
"I want to send you a message: yes, I am a candidate for president of the republic," Lula pronounced in his communique read from a Fortaleza radio program on Monday prior to an interview with his running mate, Fernando Haddad. Workers Party representatives will present Lula and Haddad as their presidential team to the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE) in Brasilia on Tuesday.
Lula has been carrying out a 12-year sentence since April for supposedly laundering money and receiving kickbacks in the Brazilian Car Wash scandal. He was imprisoned before being allowed to appeal his case. Over the past four months, the PT candidate has been denied bail and the constitutional right to a hearing to overturn his corruption verdict handed down to him by Brazil's Fourth Regional Federal Court (TRF-4) last March.
"Lula is illegally imprisoned ... Our fight only ends when he (is released)," Haddad said in the interview. The vice presidential candidate denounced the Michel Temer "coup" who says Hassad, "can’t imprison Lula’s ideas that will continue to travel through Brazil."
On Sunday members of the MST (Landless Workers' Movement) and religious groups showed up in front of the Federal Supreme Court in Brasilia demanding that the former president is freed.
MST leader Joao Pedro Stedile told TeleSUR that their strike is to draw attention to the injustice that is being committed to Lula.
The social movements gathered in in front of the court denounced authorities for using Lula as a political prisoner. They argue that his corruption conviction is a ploy to keep the PT candidate from running for the presidency, which polls indicate he will win. They had been marching toward Brasilia since Friday to draw attention to Lula's case.
At least six MST members have been on a hunger strike for the past 13 days to demand the candidate's freedom.