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Brazil’s first black justice says he won’t run for president

May 8, 2018

FILE - In this April 19, 2018 file photo, former Supreme Court President Joaquim Barbosa, the first black member of the country's top court, arrives for a meeting with the leaders of the Brazilian Socialist Party to be named one of their candidates for president in Brasilia, Brazil. Barbosa, who says he won’t run for president, announced his decision on Twitter Tuesday, May 8, 2018, calling it “strictly personal.” (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres, File)

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil’s first black Supreme Court justice says he won’t run for president, quashing widespread speculation.

Joaquim Barbosa announced his decision on Twitter Tuesday, calling it “strictly personal.”

Many thought Barbosa could win support from voters on the left and right and unify a deeply divided Brazil. Barbosa has voiced support for social programs identified with the left but also won praise from conservatives for handing down corruption convictions to members of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s leftist administration.

Da Silva is now in jail on his own corruption conviction. He leads presidential preference polls even though it’s unlikely he will be able to run. In second place is far-right congressman Jair Bolsonaro.

A recent poll showed Barbosa gaining support for the October vote, but still in single digits.

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