Brazilians have narrowly elected Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as their new president, marking a stunning comeback for the 77-year-old former union leader, who will replace the far-right Jair Bolsonaro. Lula will return to the presidency after spending time in prison on corruption charges that were later thrown out. Lula spoke Sunday evening.
President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva: “The majority of Brazilians made it very clear that they want more and not less democracy; that they want more, not less social inclusion; that they want more and not less opportunity for all; they want more and not less respect and understanding among Brazilians. To summarize, they want more freedom, equality, fraternity in our country.”
Jair Bolsonaro has yet to concede or make any public remarks. In the lead-up to the vote, Bolsonaro and his allies sowed doubt about the election system, suggesting he may not accept a loss. High-profile supporters of Bolsonaro have, however, acknowledged Lula’s win. During his single term, Bolsonaro led a disastrous response to the COVID pandemic, attacked the media and his critics, and hastened the destruction of the Amazon.