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Lula Becomes Brazil’s President-Elect

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In a runoff for the presidency on Sunday, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva narrowly won against President Jair Bolsonaro. Instead, it ended the decades of most right-wing administrations in Brazil and reinstated the left-leaning former president.

The Supreme Electoral Court announced Lula as the new president. He needed 50.9% of the vote to beat Bolsonaro’s 49.1%. Furthermore, Lula’s inauguration is scheduled for January 1. 

The vote was an attack on Bolsonaro’s fiery right-wing extremist popularity. He came out of the backseat of Congress and founded a new conservative coalition. However, his support has waned as Brazil has one of the worst death tolls from the coronavirus pandemic.

In a Sunday night speech, Lula announced that he would unite a divided nation. Moreover, he would ensure that Brazilians “put down arms that never should preserve the Amazon rainforest and make the global trade more fair.” 

Lula added: “I will govern for 215 million Brazilians, and not just for those who voted for me.” 

“There are not two Brazils. We are one country, one people, one great nation.” 

The newly elected president appeared at a rally in Sao Paulo just after 8pm and gestured from the sunroof of his car. Cheerful supporters at the Paulista Avenue were there for him, shouting slogans and sipping champagne.

In addition, newly elected Vice President Gerald Alcumin, along with campaigners, jumped and sang along with the crowd.

“It’s time, Jair, it’s time to leave already,” they said in a clip shared on social media. 

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Lula Parred with Bolsonaro

Sixty-seven-year-old Bolsonaro has made groundless accusations about Brazil’s voting system. He said it is vulnerable to fraud. Furthermore, he reacts silently to the result. 

The previous year, he outspokenly talked about repulsing the vote results. 

Electoral personnel are preparing for him to contest the result, sources said. Additionally, they had implemented security protocols for an expected protest from his supporters. 

Roughly two hours following the declaration from electoral authorities, Bolsonaro and his campaign hadn’t made any public statements regarding the result. 

US President Joe Biden congratulated Lula for winning “free, fair and credible elections.” Biden didn’t stand alone in his sentiment, as other European and Latin American leaders were in the chorus of praise. 

Lula’s win unites a new “pink tide” in Latin America. This comes after landmark leftist wins in Colombia and Chile elections. The outcome mirrors a regional political change about twenty years ago that presented Lula to the world. 

Lula promised to reimplement state-driven economic growth and social policies. Moreover, it aided in elevating millions from poverty when he was formerly president from 2003 to 2010. 

Additionally, he vows to counter marring the Amazon rainforest – currently on an all-time high for 15 years. He also wants to make Brazil a front-runner in global climate discussions. 

“These were four years of hatred, of negation of science,” 60-year-old Dr. Ana Valeria Doria said. “It won’t be easy for Lula to manage the division in this country. But for now, it’s pure happiness.” 

Lula is a former union leader who grew up in poverty. He spearheaded strikes against Brazil’s military government in the 1970s. In addition to serving two terms in the presidential seat, his administration brought economic bloom. He then left his post with record popularity.

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