SAO PAULO – Jailed former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva remains far ahead in a poll published Sunday of candidates in the country’s October presidential election, even though he has been behind bars for two months.
Thirty percent of Brazilians say they will vote for da Silva, who was president between 2003-2010, according to Datafolha pollsters.
Da Silva, incarcerated at the federal police headquarters in the southern city of Curitiba since April 7, is serving a 12-year sentence for taking an apartment as a bribe.
The 72-year-old leftist politician insists on his innocence, saying the case is politically motivated.
The previous Datafolha survey, published just after da Silva was imprisoned, gave him 31 percent support.
Datafolha said that 21 percent of those polled have no preference for president, while 17 percent will support far-right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro and 10 percent ex-Environment Minister Marina Silva.
Da Silva on Friday received full support from his Workers’ Party, which stated in a letter that they continue to support him as their presidential candidate “to the final consequences.”
Da Silva’s time in office included a commodities-fueled economic boom and major programs that lifted millions of Brazilians from extreme poverty.
Datafolha interviewed 2,824 voters across the country, and the poll has a 2 percentage point margin of error.