5 September 2018
According to pollster Datafolha, Lula da Silva commanding 39 percent of voter support is by far the most popular candidate for the presidential election. Because of his convictions and because of several graft cases pending against him, he cannot contest the election. His protégé and successor Dilma Rousseff was impeached for breaking budgetary laws.
President Temer was accused on corruption charges, but opposition lawmakers did not secure enough votes to put him on trial. Besides, he has a 3% approval rating, which makes him the most unpopular leader in the country.
That leaves Fernando Haddad as a potential presidential candidate. But days prior to his announcement of his candidacy, prosecutors charged him with corruption of accepting a payment of $481,095 to cover a debt accrued when he was campaigning for mayor of Sao Paulo in 2012. A construction conglomerate, UTC Engenharia, is alleged to have made the payments to a company that printed Haddad’s campaign materials. The prosecutors allege that the payment was aimed at obtaining illegal advantages to get contracts of public works in the city of Sao Paulo after Haddad took office.
It is unlikely that this accusation will derail his candidacy as it would be virtually impossible for the trial to be concluded before the country’s presidential elections next month. But the accusations will give a chance to his political rivals to rail against him ahead of the first-round vote.