Brazil tense over prison for da Silva

The final outcome is still pending six justices have yet to submit their vote. Weber however was seen as the swing vote making it increasingly likely that the state will decide to imprison Lula

After almost 11 hours of deliberation, Brazil's Supreme Court rejected former leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's plea to stay out of jail while appealing a corruption case that may sink his bid to recapture the presidency.

"The constitution secures individual rights, which are fundamental to democracy, but it also assures the exercise of criminal law", said Chief Justice Carmen Lucia, who cast the deciding vote.

Lula, as he is known, has said the case against him is politically motivated and created to keep him from running.

Silva's Workers' Party, in a statement posted on Twitter, wrote, " No matter how many roses the mighty kill, they will never manage to stop spring".

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Lula, a two-term former president who leads in polls ahead of the October 7 presidential election, has not spoken publicly since the court denied a request late Wednesday to delay his prison sentence.

Under a 2010 Brazilian law called "clean slate law", no one convicted of a crime upheld on appeal can run for elected office for at least eight years. "All of those politicians that stole should", said Wendell Gonçalves da Costa, 36, a janitor who previously voted for Lula.

The Brazilian Democratic Movement party will formally decide which candidate it hopes to move forward with a selection to lead its party in the national election in either the month of June or July, during the Brazilian winter. The Supreme Federal Court's (STF) decision may put an end to da Silva's expected return to politics.

More than 5,000 judges and prosecutors sent the Supreme Court a petition for Lula to be imprisoned immediately and justices have received thousands of e-mails on the subject.

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Lawyers for the former president, who ruled from 2003 to 2011, have few remaining cards.

Lula lost his first appeal in January, when the appeals court not only upheld his conviction, but increased the sentence from nine and a half years to 12. What STF analyzed was not really bottom of sentence that considered Lula guilty of accepting gift of an apartment on beach as a bribe of a builder benefiting from contracts of public oil company Petrobras. Last week, while campaigning in the southern state of Parana, where Moro convicted him, two buses in his caravan where hit with bullets.

Lula's fate was decided by a single vote from the court's president Cármen Lúcia in a verdict that began in the afternoon that continued late into Wednesday night.

Army reserve general Luiz Lessa told the Estado de S.Paulo newspaper on Tuesday the military would have to intervene if Lula was allowed to become a candidate in the election.

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