Brazil’s Lula beats Bolsonaro to win the presidency again in stunning comeback

SAO PAULO, Oct 30 (Reuters) – Leftist Luis Inacio Lula da Silva on Sunday defeated President Jair Bolsonaro in a runoff election that marked a resounding comeback for Lula and the end of Brazil’s most right-wing government in decades. decades.

Lula obtained 50.9% of the vote against 49.1% for Bolsonaro, the The Supreme Electoral Court said, declaring former President Lula the winner. The investiture of Lula, 77, is scheduled for January 1.

The vote was a rebuke to the fiery far-right populism of Bolsonaro, who emerged from the back seats of Congress to forge a new conservative coalition but lost support as Brazil recorded one of the worst records in the world. COVID-19 pandemic.

Bolsonaro, 67, who for years made baseless claims that Brazil’s electoral system was prone to fraud, initially remained silent on the result. Election authorities are preparing for him to challenge the result, sources told Reuters, and have made security preparations in case his supporters stage protests.

“Democracy,” Lula wrote on Twitter, above a photo of the Brazilian flag under his left hand, which is missing his little finger, the result of an accident he suffered as a steelworker some years ago. decades.

He was greeted by ecstatic supporters at a rally on Paulista Avenue in Sao Paulo ahead of a scheduled speech. Vice President-elect Geraldo Alckmin and his campaign aides jumped for joy, chanting “It’s time Jair, it’s already time to go,” in a video circulating on social media.

Foreign leaders, from US President Joe Biden to Frenchman Emmanuel Macron to Argentinian Alberto Fernandez, have offered Lula congratulatory messages.

Lula promised a return to the economic growth and state-led social policies that lifted millions out of poverty when he was president from 2003 to 2010. He also promises to fight destruction of the Amazon rainforest, now at its highest level for 15 years, and make Brazil a leader in global climate talks.

His victory consolidates a new “pink tide” in Latin America, after significant victories for the left in Colombia and Chileechoing a regional political shift two decades ago that brought Lula onto the world stage.

A former labor leader born into poverty, Lula organized strikes against Brazil’s military government in the 1970s. His two-term presidency was marked by a commodity-driven economic boom and he left office with record popularity. .

However, his Workers’ Party was then marred by a deep recession and a record corruption scandal that jailed him for 19 months on corruption charges, which were overturned by the Supreme Court last year.

In his third term, Lula will face a sluggish economy, tighter budget constraints and a more hostile legislature. Bolsonaro’s allies form largest congressional bloc after general election this month revealed his enduring strength conservative coalition.

Bolsonaro has repeatedly made baseless allegations of voter fraud and openly discussed last year refuse to accept the results of the vote.

Reporting by Ricardo Brito, Lisandra Paraguassu, Brian Ellsworth and Anthony Boadle; Editing by Brad Haynes, Daniel Wallis and Grant McCool

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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