Former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will come back to head Brazil after beating far-right incumbent Jair Bolserano.
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, known simply as Lula to Brazilians, was declared president by winning 50.9% of the vote. Bolserano comes in with 49,1% of the vote. Lula is a complete change for Brazil. He is a left-wing president who comes from a working-class background whilst Bolserano comes from the military.
No later than during his moving acceptance speech, Lula promised he would govern for ‘all Brazilians’ not only those who voted for him. He went on to say that Brazil needed ‘peace and unity’. Things remain uncertain as incumbent Bolserano has yet to concede his defeat.
Who is Lula da Silva? Winner of Brazil Elections 2022
Lula is not unknown to Brazilians. In fact, he already held the highest office in Brazil between 2003 and 2010. He is a left-wing president who comes from a rather modest background. Lula was born into a large family and had to work from a young age in order to support his family.
Before he got involved in politics, he worked as a metal worker. In a work incident, he lost part of a finger. That small incident was used by his rivals to put into question his ability to hold the top office in the country. He took office for the first time in 2003 and proved to be very popular.
He then won a second term and left office back in 2010. When he left office his popularity plummeted and things went downhill very rapidly. He lost his wife Marisa Letícia, in 2017. His Workers Party was involved in a series of scandals until he was convicted of corruption in 2018.
He was able to be released from prison in 2019, 10 years before his 12-year sentence was over. Following that his charges were completely annulled by the Brazilian Supreme Court. This set the stage for his comeback into politics and he has proven that he was able to achieve this.
The Amazon rainforest among those who can breathe again
It is no secret that the Amazon rainforest has reached a crucial tipping point. Lula’s win is likely to make a difference in the state of the Amazon rainforest. Under President, Bolserano deforestation soared to a 15-year high. Today the Amazon is being cleared 75% higher than when Bolsonaro took office in 2019.
When Lula was President from 2003-2010, and with his successor deforestation plummeted. Lula has campaigned to protect the rainforest. However, climate activists are looking to Lula to not only take greater care of the Amazon but to go above and beyond as they will not let him get away as they once did.
He has also pledged to remove illegal miners and ranchers and to return the land to the population of the aborigines that it belongs to. Furthermore, he is expected to roll out climate targets in line with the Paris Agreements. Climate and the rainforest are not the only things people will be looking to Lula for.
Lula will not only be expected to reverse the damage done by his successor but also to take important steps forward.
Jair Bolsonaro yet to concede
The usually highly vocal Jair Bolsonaro has yet to concede his defeat. The current president is usually highly vocal but so far no one has heard a thing. It is a tradition that the loser phones the new president-elect, however, sources report that Bolsonaro has not done that. Instead, he apparently retired to his rooms as the verdict was announced.
Some are predicting that Bolsonaro is preparing to contradict the results. He received 58.2 million votes or 49.10% whilst Lula won 50.9%. It was a tight win but Lula won the 50% needed to be declared as the winner.
Some of the incumbent’s key allies have however admitted their defeat. The governor of São Paulo, Tarcísio de Freitas, a strong supporter of Jair Bolsonaro has recognised Lula’s win.
Blocked roads in support of Bolsonaro
However, his supporters have not accepted his defeat at the hand of left-wing Lula. Many of his followers have made it known that they do not support this decision.
Many lorry drivers who profited under Bolsonaro have been protesting this decision. They are the ones who are protesting this decision loudly and clearly. They have been blocking roads affecting many food supplies across the countries. The police have reported over 230 incidents across 18 of Brazil’s states. They are burning tyres and blocking roads while waving Brazilian flags to voice their anger.
Brazil Elections 2022 Divide The People
Whilst da Silva has won the runoff election fair and square things do not look easy for the former president set to take office in January 2023. He may have won the election but supporters of Bolsonaro have won a majority in Congress. Lula will therefore face strong opposition to his legislation in Congress will significantly hinder his progress.
Furthermore, since Bolsonaro has yet to concede that he has lost it could make the transition very difficult. No one knows what Bolsonaro has in store for the rest of the year.