Top Brazil Prosecutor Recommends Blocking Lula From Cabinet Job

Brazil’s top prosecutor recommended the Supreme Court prevent former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva from joining his successor’s cabinet, saying the appointment may be designed to interfere with corruption investigations.

Prosecutor General Rodrigo Janot on Thursday sent his recommendation to the nation’s highest court, which is expected to make a final ruling on Lula as soon as next week. Supreme Court Justice Gilmar Mendes last month issued an injunction that temporarily suspended Lula’s appointment as President Dilma Rousseff’s chief of staff.

Critics of the government say Rousseff nominated Lula to shield him from a corruption probe, considering ministers enjoy special legal protection. The president denies the allegations and says her predecessor can improve relations in Congress and help her revive the economy.

The Supreme Court injunction has hamstrung Lula’s ability to assist the administration, which is rushing to shore up support among lawmakers ahead of this month’s impeachment vote. Lula is popular among members of the ruling Workers’ Party and has strong ties with coalition parties in Congress.

Janot’s recommendation marks an about face for the prosecutor, who told the Supreme Court in a March 28 report that he saw no legal reason to block Lula’s nomination to the cabinet.

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