SAO PAULO—The Workers’ Party in Brazil named jailed former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Saturday as its nominee for the country’s top job.
Delegates of the left-leaning party confirmed da Silva, who served two terms as Brazil’s president between 2003 and 2010, with enthusiastic approval at a convention in Sao Paulo.
Since March, the former president has been jailed on a corruption conviction, but he denies any wrongdoing and claims he is being politically persecuted.
Although his popularity has dropped slightly, da Silva leads polls for the office by a large margin. Surveys also suggest voters would lend their support to another Workers’ Party candidate if da Silva is barred from running.
It is unclear who would replace him if that’s the case, and the party is not expected to name da Silva’s running mate until Monday.
In a recorded message to the convention, Da Silva said that “it is those that sentenced me that are jailed in a lie.”