Brazil’s former president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, was this week was found guilty of corruption and now faces almost 10 years in prison for accepting $1.2 million in bribes as well as other charges related to money-laundering.
Activists here in Pakistan have a penchant for holding up Latin American countries as the model to follow in the pursuit of Leftist and just politics and policies. So, spare a thought for their Brazilian counterparts who now find themselves in the unwelcome situation of Lula pulling a Nawaz during his first post-conviction hearing.
There were emotional outbursts, denouncements of the court conviction being politically motivated, allegations of no existing evidence. It’s rather heartening to see leaders of the Global South — even former ones — saving their cash and turning to ‘script-pooling’. This is something that the American President might want to consider. As long a he is not the one doing the scripting.
And just like our Nawaz Sharif, Lula is hanging tough and vowing to contest Brazil’s elections, also scheduled for next year. He is due to face the court an additional four times.
There is one stark contrast, however. Namely, that Lula has been credited with lifting millions upon millions out of poverty. We can’t say that the same has ever been said about our PM. *
Published in Daily Times, July 15th , 2017.