Former Brazilian President Lula attacks Bolsonaro as his path to a political comeback clears

Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva speaks during a ceremony at the City Hall of Paris, on March 2, 2020.

(CNN)Former Brazilian leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Wednesday launched a stinging attack against President Jair Bolsonaro's handling of Covid-19, days after a judge cleared the way for his political comeback.

The former President, better known as Lula, neither confirmed nor denied heated speculation that he might now challenge Bolsonaro in the 2022 presidential race as the left-wing Workers Party candidate, saying only that it was "too early" to engage in that discussion.
"When it arrives in 2022, the party will discuss whether we have a candidate or whether we act on a broad front," he said.
    "My head doesn't have time to think about candidacy in 2022," he added. "We have a lot to do before we talk about ourselves."
      Da Silva had been convicted for corruption and money laundering in 2017 stemming from a wide-ranging investigation into the state-run oil company Petrobras, dubbed "Operation Car Wash." Those convictions were annulled on Monday by Brazilian Supreme Federal Court Justice Luiz Edson Fachin, effectively restoring his right to run for office.
      Speaking on Wednesday at the ABC Metalworkers Union in São Bernardo do Campo, the same place where he spoke to supporters moments before going to prison, da Silva hailed the ruling as acknowledgment "that there was never a crime committed by me... that there was never any involvement of mine with Petrobras."