RIO DE JANEIRO – Former Chief Justice Joaquim Barbosa, who appeared to be among the leaders in the polling ahead of Brazil’s October presidential elections, said on Tuesday that he will not be a candidate and that his decision was taken for strictly personal reasons.
“It is decided. After several weeks of much reflection, I have finally reached a conclusion. I will not be a candidate for president of the republic. A strictly personal decision,” the one-time head of the Supreme Federal Tribunal wrote on Twitter.
Barbosa, an Afro-Brazilian who rose from humble circumstances, perceived in mid-April that he might possibly run for president after joining the Brazilian Socialist Party.
At that moment, Barbosa was acclaimed by many party militants as their presidential candidate, a destiny for which he requested “more time” to reach a decision.
The former magistrate was highly popular among Brazilians when he acted as investigating judge in a trial related to the congressional vote-buying scandal of 2005.
In the latest presidential opinion poll taken by Datafolha, Barbosa ranked among the first four in all contexts, though former head of state Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva – currently behind bars on corruption charges – remains the candidate with the most support.