Brazil Elections: Lula Defeats Bolsonaro To Win Third Of Presidency

Brazil Elections: Lula Defeats Bolsonaro To Win Third Of Presidency

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By Spy Uganda Correspondent

Former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva reclaimed the office Sunday on pledges to defend democracy, save the Amazon rainforest and bring social justice to Latin America’s largest nation, defeating Brazil’s Trumpian incumbent in a remarkable political comeback some three years after he walked out of a prison cell.

The victory for Lula, who served two terms as president from 2003 to 2010, returns a leftist titan of the Global South to the world stage, where his progressive voice will stand in sharp contrast to that of right-wing — and now one-term — President Jair Bolsonaro. For Latin America, Lula’s return to the Planalto Palace adds the regional giant to a streak of wins by the left: Lula joins a club of leaders who have now bested the political right in Colombia, Chile, Peru, Honduras, Argentina and Mexico.

His win, which followed a slugfest of a campaign in a deeply divided country awash in fake news and explosive rhetoric, came amid allegations of official suppression of the vote by Bolsonaro’s allies in the police. Overall, the race sounded strong echoes of the 2020 showdown in the United States between Joe Biden and President Donald Trump. It pitted Bolsonaro, 67, a staunch Trump ally, against Lula, 77, a stalwart of the traditional left who moved to the center during the campaign. Lula’s strength lay in female and low-income voters — particularly the Northeast, heavily populated by people of color — but also in social progressives and power brokers disturbed by Bolsonaro’s authoritarian bent.

Lula has pledged a unity government to work on mending the breaches in Brazilian society of the kind that, in an era of toxic politics, have taken root in democracies across the globe. The margin — Lula won by less than two percentage points — was the closest in Brazilian history. It was the first time an incumbent ran for a second term and lost.

As the results were announced, Lula tweeted a close up of the Brazil flag, and one word: Democracy.

“We have reached the end of one of the most important elections in our history,” Lula told supporters in São Paulo. “An election that put face to face two opposing projects of the country and that today has only one winner: the Brazilian people.

“This is not a victory for me or for the [Workers Party] or for those who supported me. This is a victory for a huge democratic movement that was formed above political parties, personal interests, ideologies, so that democracy would be the winner.”

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