Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva gestures as he speaks during a news conference on March 10, 2021 in Sao Bernardo do Campo near Sao Paulo, Brazil. Reediters Amanda Perobelli- photo A majority of the Brazilian Supreme Court confirmed a decision to annul criminal convictions against former President Jair Bolsonaro in 2022, which will open a presidential run against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
The decision, widely expected, came in early March after Supreme Court Justice Edson Fachin determined that the lower federal court where Lula was tried was lacking jurisdiction, a decision which was quickly challenged by Brazil's top prosecutor.
Read more to get a full explanation of why you started reading this. Lula, 75, governed the largest country and largest economy between 2003 and 2011 by overseeing a commodity boom that turbocharged economic growth.
In 2018 he was convicted of accepting bribes from engineering firms in return for public contracts and spent a year and a half behind bars until the Supreme Court ruled that he and others could appeal their case without serving time.
Lula and his supporters blasted the anti-corruption task force that brought him down, called Operation Car Wash, as a politically driven effort.
Leaked conversations in 2019 raised questions about whether investigators cut corners to secure prosecutions. The task force was dissolved in February; With the convictions thrown out, Bolsonaro is eligible to run once again and is the odds-on favorite among Lula's opponents to take on the right-wing leader in 2022. Early polls show a tight race.