September 11, 2018 / 8:38 PM / 2 months ago

Lula drops fight for presidency, hands over to running mate

FILE PHOTO: Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attends a rally in Sao Leopoldo, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Diego Vara

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Jailed former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva stepped aside on Tuesday to allow his running mate Fernando Haddad to stand for the presidency in next month’s election, ending his legal battle against a ban on his candidacy.

Workers Party president Senator Gleisi Hoffmann announced the decision to Lula’s supporters outside the federal police headquarters in Curitiba where he has been jailed since April, serving a 12-year sentence for corruption.

Haddad, a former Sao Paulo mayor, has surged in polls and is tied in third place for the Oct. 7 vote, according to a Datafolha survey published on Monday that has spooked markets.

Reporting by Anthony Boadle, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien

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