Presidential election in Brazil: Lula wins by a short margin (50.9%) in the second round against outgoing president Jair Bolsonaro

Presidential election in Brazil: Lula wins by a short margin (50.9%) in the second round against outgoing president Jair Bolsonaro

Lula is back. The former head of state won the second round of the presidential election in Brazil with 50.8% of the vote against far-right incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro, according to almost final official results published on Sunday October 30 by the electoral commissionafter the vote.

The candidate of the Brazilian left reacted on Twitter, shortly before the formalization of the results, by posting a photo of his hand resting on a Brazilian flag, accompanied by this simple message: “Democracy”.

Without delay, Emmanuel Macron addressed in two tweets in French and Portuguese “congratulations” to the winner, promising to unite their forces to meet the many common challenges and renew the bond of friendship between our two countries”.

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva came first in the first round with 48.43% of the vote, against 43.20% for his rival. Faced with Jair Bolsonaro and his populist outings, Lula ran a campaign at the center of the political spectrum. The debates mainly revolved around purchasing power, eaten away by the rise in energy prices, a sharp increase in inequalities and galloping inflation. The elected president has promised to strengthen social protection.

The 76-year-old left-wing icon already led the country from 2003 to 2011. He then went to prison. Convicted of corruption and imprisoned in 2018, he was released in 2019 and his convictions were overturned in 2021 by the Supreme Court, which did not clear him.

During his two previous terms, Lula implemented ambitious social programs and lifted nearly 30 million Brazilian men and women out of poverty. Wanting to reassure the markets, he also promised to restore Brazil’s reputation on the international scene, after four years of isolation.

The task promises to be difficult. Without a clear majority in Parliament and while several states are led by members of the camp of the outgoing president, Lula should have difficulty in applying his program.

After a violent campaign, during which several political activists were assassinated, the Brazilian population is fractured between an ultraconservative camp and a progressive camp. “There are two countries that no longer speak to each other in Brazil, families are divided and argue over politics”explains to franceinfo Christophe Ventura, research director atInstitute of International and Strategic Relations, sLatin American specialist.

Lula and his new government are due to take office on January 1, 2023, when Jair Bolsonaro’s term ends. The far-right Brazilian president said on October 21 that he would recognize a possible defeat provided that “nothing unusual” does not occur during the vote.

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