Suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said Thursday that former president and leader of the Workers Party, Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva will be a candidate for the next presidential elections in 2018.
She argued that the coup organized by the right-wing elites against her was mainly motivated by Lula's probable candidacy, “Today, despite all the attempts to destroy his public image, Lula remains one of the most beloved personalities in the country,” she told French daily L'Express.
Lula has repeated on various occasions that the more he faces attacks, the more likely he will run for president in 2018.
He is under investigation as part of the corruption probe known as Operation Car Wash, for alleged crimes linked to the Petrobras state oil bribery and fraud scandal.
The Supreme Court took over the case in March after federal judge Sergio Moro gave the green light to the release of a taped conversation between Lula and Rousseff, leaked as alleged evidence, that his appointment to her cabinet was a move to guard him from prosecution.
Rousseff’s office slammed the leak as illegal, while Supreme Court Justice Teori Zavascki removed Moro from the case over questions of legality in the investigations.
Rousseff also reminded to L'Epress that she had not committed any crime, and that many of her predecessors had to resort to the budget manipulations that she was accused of in the impeachment procedure.
"President Fernando Enrique Cardoso approved 23 similar decrees, the accusation is only a pretext," she added.
Rousseff got a boost in her fight against impeachment Monday as a report prepared by analysts in the Senate found that there is no evidence to suggest she was personally responsible for fiscal wrongdoing. It remains unclear, however, how the findings will impact the impeachment process that has hinged on such allegations and has now been delayed until August 26, after the Rio Olympics.