- choice of words
- BBC News World
He was president for 8 years, he left with a high popularity rating, he was jailed for corruption, his sentence was overturned, and this Sunday, at the age of 77, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva confirmed his political resurrection.
Lula narrowly won Brazil’s election on Sunday, according to the Supreme Electoral Court, and is returning to power after defeating Jair Bolsonaro in a battle between ideological antagonists that have divided Latin America’s largest democracy.
Lula won by the narrowest margin in Brazilian history since 1989, when democracy was restored after the end of the dictatorship.
With him, the left returns to power in Brazil and ends the most right-wing government in decades.
“They tried to bury me alive and today I am here to govern this country,” Lula, who will be inaugurated as president on January 1, 2023, said in a celebratory speech.
With more than 99% of the polls, Lula added 50.84% of the vote to Bolsonaro’s 49.16%, the first president not to be re-elected since a second term was granted in 1997.
The court deemed Lulu the winner when the election was “mathematically defined.”
A few hours after Lula’s victory was confirmed, Bolsonaro remained silent. During the campaign, there was a question about whether he would accept defeat, but some of his allies already ruled out this Sunday that the president would not accept the results.
In the first round, at the beginning of the month, the current president gained an initial advantage during the counting, which his rival later regained, which happened again this Sunday.
That’s because votes from the northeast, Lula’s stronghold, are counted later.
The leftist Lula overtook the rightist Bolsonaro by more than two million votes and thus returns to the power he held from 2003 to 2010 and after spending 19 months in prison for corruption.
He was released by the Federal Supreme Court, which overturned his convictions in 2021 due to errors in the processes and the lack of impartiality of judge Sergio Mora.
nostalgia for the past
This Sunday’s election took place in an atmosphere of tension due to the polarization between two antagonistic candidates and the political struggle between the left and the right.
Bolsonaro, a 67-year-old former soldier, sought re-election in the presidential elections citing ultraconservative right-wing values, while his rival Lula was a trade unionist and one of the great representatives of the Latin American left.
Lula overcame suspicions caused by a past history of corruption surrounding his years in government, which, however, are remembered by many with nostalgia for the good economic figures and social policies he implemented.
The result marks a defeat, albeit a narrow one, for Bolsonaro’s far-right populism, which formed a new conservative coalition in 2018 but lost support after Brazil had one of its worst deaths since the coronavirus pandemic. covid-19.
Lula has promised to return to the country’s economic growth and social policies that helped lift millions out of poverty during his eight-year rule in Brazil.
He left behind emerging Brazil, which discovered large oil reserves and was chosen to host the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.
It now faces a less favorable economic environment and will have to navigate a highly polarized climate and a country divided in two, as evidenced by how close Sunday’s election was.
This Sunday, Lula promised to unite the divided country and called for international cooperation to preserve the Amazon rainforest.
The new electoral success of Lula, who came to politics from a unionist background and after a childhood in poverty that made him associate with the most popular classes, is largely due to the fond memories many Brazilians have of his years as president, which contrast with sharp crises that followed.
During their governments, Brazil experienced an economic boom fueled by high raw material prices. Millions of people have risen out of poverty and into the middle class with the help and education programs of the state.
In 2011, Lula left the presidency with an approval rating of over 80%.
Lula was a benchmark for the Latin American left, which was seen as more committed to the rules of liberal democracy than “Bolivarian” leaders like then-Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.
World universities honored him as a doctor honoris causa and the one who was the president of the United States, Barack Obamain the past he defined him as “the most popular politician in the world”.
Then came corruption scandals, for which he was imprisoned until a suspended sentence, which allowed him to return to the political arena.
The left has reached for the charismatic and controversial figure of Lula to counter Bolsonaro’s right, which will remain a major opposition force as his party has the most presence in Congress.
Leftist presidents of the region such as Andrés Manuel López Obrador (Mexico), Alberto Fernández (Argentina), Gabriel Boric (Chile) or Gustavo Petro (Colombia) congratulated the president-elect on Sunday.
“Your victory opens a new time in the history of Latin America. A time of hope and a future that begins today,” Fernandez said.
Other leaders like Joe BidenPresident of the United States, i Emmanuel Macronfrom France, also congratulated the winner.
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