Leftist Lula wins Brazil’s Presidency in stunning comeback
BRAZIL: Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has done it again: Twenty years after first winning the Brazilian Presidency, the veteran Leftist defeated incumbent Jair Bolsonaro on Sunday in an extremely tight election that marks an about-face for the country after four years of far-right politics.
With 99.9 percent of the votes tallied in the runoff vote, da Silva had 50.9 percent and Bolsonaro 49.1 percent, and the election authority said da Silva’s victory was a mathematical certainty.
The vote was a rebuke for the fiery far-right populism of Bolsonaro, who emerged from the back benches of Congress to forge a novel conservative coalition but lost support as Brazil ran up one of the worst death tolls of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lula called for “peace and unity” Sunday in bitterly divided Brazil, saying the country was no longer an international pariah, and highlighting the need for a “living Amazon”.
In his victory speech, Lula reached out to supporters and rivals alike, highlighting the need for “a Brazil of peace, democracy, and opportunity.”He touched on gender and racial equality and the urgent need to deal with a hunger crisis affecting 33.1 million Brazilians.
“The wheel of the economy will turn again,” he promised.French President Emmanuel Macron congratulated Lula adding in a Twitter post that the two leaders would “renew ties of friendship between their countries”.
US President Joe Biden on Sunday congratulated the Brazilian President-elect for his victory in “free, fair and credible elections,” in a statement adding that he looks forward to continued cooperation between the countries.
His victory consolidates a new “pink tide” in Latin America, after landmark leftist victories in Colombia and Chile’s elections, echoing a regional political shift two decades ago that introduced Lula to the world stage.
In his third term, Lula, a former union leader born into poverty, will confront a sluggish economy, tighter budget constraints and a more hostile Legislature. Lula will take office on January 1 .
– THE HINDU