Cuba rejects Brazil's decision to ban Lula's presidential bid
HAVANA, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- Cuba on Saturday rejected the decision of Brazil's Superior Electoral Court (TSE) to bar former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva from running for a third term, calling the ruling "political."
According to a statement from the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the decision deprives Lula of becoming the candidate for Brazil's Workers' Party.
"Earlier this year, Lula was imprisoned for political reasons as a maneuver to prevent left-wing forces which carried out social transformations in Brazil to return to power," said the statement.
The island's government reiterated its support and solidarity for Lula, who is serving a controversial 12-year jail sentence for corruption and money laundering in Brazil although he still has the right to appeal.
On late Friday, the majority of TSE ruled the former head of state can't be a presidential candidate because he no longer has a clear record, under the so-called "Clean Record Law", which rules that people with previous convictions for corruption crimes cannot be elected.
Earlier this month, the United Nations' Human Rights Committee said Lula could not be disqualified as a presidential candidate until all his appeals were judged.
However, the majority of the TSE judges decided that the UN's stance was not mandatory in this case.
With the court decision, the new candidate of the Workers' Party will be Fernando Haddad, who was Lula's running mate.