Economy & Politico

Lula da Silva beats Bolsonaro to lead Brazil again

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva clinched Brazil’s top job Sunday after besting incumbent Jair Bolsonaro with 50.90% of the vote, figures released by the country’s election authority confirmed.

With 99.96% of the ballots counted, Bolsonaro gained 49.10%. The ouster marks the end of a politically heightened period for Brazil as Bolsonaro gained widespread attention for his accelerated destruction of the Amazon rainforest and the government’s failure to effectively implement preventative COVID-19 measures such as masking practices. Brazil documented nearly 700,000 covid-related deaths.

The election was Brazil’s most polarising poll since its return to democracy in 1985 after a military dictatorship that Lula, a former union leader, has rallied against and Bolsonaro, a former army captain, invokes with nostalgia.

The vote also marked the first time that the sitting president failed to win re-election. Just over two million votes separated the two candidates; the previous closest race, in 2014, was decided by a margin of roughly 3.5 million votes.

In a victory speech, da Silva acknowledged that the challenges ahead would be “immense” but that efforts to rebuild the country would be “necessary … in all its dimensions.”

“The majority of the Brazilian people made it very clear that they want more – not less – democracy,” he told supporters. “This is the victory of an immense democratic movement that was formed, above political parties, personal interests and ideologies, so that democracy would win.”



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