Amid a corruption scandal raging in Brazil, the Supreme Court blocked former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva from becoming a member of the Cabinet Friday. The ruling came hours after he led a rally of almost 95,000 pro-government people.
Judge Gilmar Mendes, while cancelling Silva's appointment, said that the only motive behind his appointment was so that he can escape prosecution from lower courts. The crucial case against the supposed corrupt officials is being led by a judge in a lower court.
"The goal of the falsity is clear: prevent the carrying out of preventative arrest order... It would be plausible to conclude that the appointment and subsequent swearing-in could constitute fraud of the constitution," the Guardian quoted Mendes as saying in his ruling.
On March 13, massive protests across the country were held for the impeachment of Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, who is being attacked by rivals for flouting budget laws. However, protests in favour of the government, which is ruled by Silva's Worker's Party, were held Friday even as the former president faced a graft probe.
Silva, when he exited as president five years ago, had an approval rating of 90 percent, TIME reported. However, his reputation along with his party's has been dragged through the mud as several politicians are facing charges for accepting a part of bribe worth $3 billion from companies. The amount was allegedly used to fund election campaigns, TIME reported.
During the Friday rally, Silva said that he would bring the country back on track. Rallies were held in Sao Paolo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and many more cities in favour of the current government.
"There will not be a coup against Ms Rousseff," BBC quoted him as saying. He added that he was joining Rousseff's government as the country was facing the worst recession in decades and needs to "resume growth."