SUSPENDED Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said on Thursday her Workers Party (PT) predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva would stand in the 2018 presidential election.
Ms Rousseff said May’s legislative coup against her government was motivated by fear of the popular former president returning to office.
Ms Rousseff is battling an increasingly shaky impeachment trial in the Brazilian Senate, while prosecutors have launched what the PT says are politically motivated investigations against Mr Da Silva.
“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.
Mr da Silva has said the more he is attacked, the more likely he is to run in 2018.
Ms Rousseff pointed out that many of her predecessors had resorted to the same budget-juggling she is accused of.
“President Fernando Enrique Cardoso approved 23 similar decrees, the accusation is only a pretext.”