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AKIPRESS.COM - Imprisoned former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva abandoned his party's presidential bid on Tuesday, weeks before an election in which he was considered a front-runner, CNN reports.
Running mate and former Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad will take his place on the October 7 ballot, according to Lula's Workers' Party.
The switch comes after the country's top electoral tribunal barred the convicted former head of state from running.
In a letter, Lula urged his supporters to now back his running mate.
"We are already millions of Lula's and from now on, Haddad will be Lula for millions of Brazilians," he wrote.
The Superior Electoral Court had given the party until Tuesday to name Lula's replacement on its presidential ticket, state-run Agencia Brazil news reported.
The Workers' Party made the announcement Tuesday in the southern city of Curitiba, where the former president was running a behind-bars campaign while serving his sentence.
The party's official Twitter account featured images of Lula and Haddad calling Lula "the best president that Brazil ever had" and asking voters to "overcome the injustices" with unity.
Universally known as Lula, Lula da Silva is one of his country's most popular politicians and a founding member of Brazil's only socialist political party.