Brazil’s left-wing leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva narrowly beat President Jair Bolsonaro in a runoff election, but the far-right incumbent remained undefeated on Monday morning, raising fears that he will contest the result.
Thousands of supporters took to the streets of Sao Paulo to celebrate a stunning comeback for the 77-year-old former ironworker after his previous presidency, 2003-2010, was dissolved after he was jailed for corruption. .
Bolsonaro is the first Brazilian president to lose a presidential election, and Lula has vowed to undo his legacy, including pro-gun policies and weak protection of the Amazon rainforest.
Brazil’s Lula said in his “resurrection” victory speech that he wanted “more democracy, not less” after his rival made baseless claims that the electoral system was rigged, casting the election as a fight for democracy. .” vowed to unite the deeply divided country.
“I will rule for 215 million Brazilians and not just for those who voted for me,” Lula said at his campaign headquarters. “There are no two Brazilians. We are one country, one nation, one great nation.”
The Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) announced that Lula won with 50.9% of the vote to Bolsonaro’s 49.1%. Lula’s inauguration is scheduled for January 1.
As a result, the left in Latin America’s largest country will rule all major economies in the region, following electoral successes in recent years from Mexico to Argentina.
A source in the Bolsonaro campaign told Reuters the president would not comment publicly until Monday. The Bolsonaro campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
“So far, Bolsonaro has not called me to recognize my victory, I don’t know if he will call or if he will recognize my victory,” Lula told supporters on Sao Paulo’s Paulista Avenue.
In contrast to Bolsonaro’s silence, US President Joe Biden Russian President Vladimir Putin; Foreign leaders, including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron, poured in congratulations for Lula.
Lula was congratulated for winning “free, fair and credible elections,” with praise from European and Latin American leaders.
Markets fell in weeks of volatility, with Brazil’s real currency and international stocks falling as investors gauged the risk of the results of questioning Lula’s administration and Bolsonaro’s.
Legislator Carla Zambelli, an ally of Bolsonaro, gave an apparent nod to the results, writing on Twitter: “I promise you, I will be the biggest opposition Lula has ever thought of.”
Bolsonaro’s staunch populist denunciations, emerging from conservative backbenchers to form a conservative coalition, have lost support as Brazil’s worst coronavirus death toll hits the country.
International election observers said Sunday’s election was effectively held. Military auditors did not find any flaws in the integrity of the voting system, an analyst told Reuters.
Truck drivers believed to be Bolsonaro supporters blocked a highway in Mato Grosso state, a major rice producer, on Sunday, according to the highway operator.
In a video circulating online, The truckers are calling for a military coup and plan to block major highways to prevent Lula from taking office, one man said.
The pink tide rises
Lula’s win echoes the political shift in the region two decades ago that introduced Lula to the world stage, consolidating a pink tide in Latin America after prominent leftists won elections in Colombia and Chile.
He has promised to return to the state-driven economic development and social policies that lifted millions of people out of poverty during his two terms as president, from 2003 to 2010. He has vowed to destroy the Amazon rainforest for 15 years now. Make Brazil a leader in global climate talks.
“It’s four years of hatred of denying science,” celebrated Ana Valeria Doria, 60, a doctor from Rio de Janeiro, over a drink. “It’s not easy for Lula to manage the administration in this country. But right now, it’s pure joy.” A former union leader born to poverty, Lula stepped down after his two-term presidency was marked by a commodity-driven economic boom.
However, his Labor Party later sentenced him to 19 months in prison for bribery amid a devastating economic downturn and a record-breaking corruption scandal. The Supreme Court overturned it last year.
Reporting by Anthony Boadle and Ricardo Brito in Brasilia; Brian Ellsworth and Lisandra Paraguassu in Sao Paulo; Written by Frank Jack Daniel; Brad Haynes Lincoln Feast Edited by Nick Macfie and Angus MacSwan
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