Da Silva’s candidate targeted in his 1st Brazil debate

SAO PAULO (AP) – The Brazilian presidential candidate hand-picked by jailed former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is the main target of other hopefuls in his first debate on TV.

Left-leaning Fernando Haddad has risen to second place in the polls in less than three weeks.

Right-leaning candidates Geraldo Alckmin and Henrique Meirelles were the most acid during the first part of the TV Aparecida debate Thursday.

Brazil's presidential candidate for the Workers' Party Fernando Haddad speaks at a campaign rally, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018. Haddad has taken the place of barred former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva after the former president was barred from running because of a corruption conviction. Da Silva had been leading polls despite serving a prison sentence. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

Brazil's presidential candidate for the Workers' Party Fernando Haddad speaks at a campaign rally, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018. Haddad has taken the place of barred former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva after the former president was barred from running because of a corruption conviction. Da Silva had been leading polls despite serving a prison sentence. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

Brazil’s presidential candidate for the Workers’ Party Fernando Haddad speaks at a campaign rally, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018. Haddad has taken the place of barred former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva after the former president was barred from running because of a corruption conviction. Da Silva had been leading polls despite serving a prison sentence. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

Alckmin said Haddad’s candidacy was announced in front of a prison and Meirelles blamed Haddad’s Workers’ Party for Brazil’s high unemployment rate and struggling economy.

Haddad promised to bring economic growth back.

Far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro leads the polls but is still recovering in a hospital after being stabbed Sept. 6.

The first round of Brazil’s presidential election will be Oct. 8.

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