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Lula Defeats Bolsonaro in a Close Runoff to Reclaim the Presidency of Brazil

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Leftist Lula da Silva beat far-right Jair Bolsonaro in a close election on Sunday, 20 years after he won the presidency for the first time.

Da Silva got 50.9% of the vote in the runoff, while Bolsonaro got 49.1%. The election board said it was mathematically certain that da Silva would win.

It’s a shocking turn of events for da Silva, 77, whose conviction for corruption in 2018 kept him from running for office in the 2018 election that put Bolsonaro in charge.

Da Silva says he’ll be a leader even after his Workers’ Party is gone. He wants voters who are in the middle and even some voters who lean to the right to join him in making the country prosperous again. In a society that is divided and where economic growth is slowing and inflation is rising, he faces headwinds.

Since 1985, when Brazil went back to being a democracy, no president has been reelected. After leftists won in Chile, Colombia, and Argentina, the largest economy in Latin America had a very divisive election.

On January 1, Da Silva will take office. President between 2003 and 2010. It was the closest election in 30 years. At 99.5%, the difference between the candidates was just over 2 million votes. In 2014, there were 3,46,000,000 votes between the candidates.

Thomas Trautmann, an independent political analyst, compared the results to Joe Biden’s victory in 2020 and said that da Silva will take over a divided country.

“Getting the country to calm down will be Lula’s biggest challenge,” he said. People don’t just have different political views. They also have different values, identities, and opinions. They don’t care about the ideas, identities, or values of the other side.

When da Silva passed Bolsonaro, cars in downtown Sao Paulo started honking their horns. People in Ipanema yelled, “It turned!” After the final result was announced, Da Silva’s Sao Paulo hotel office blew up, showing how tense the race was.

Lula Defeats Bolsonaro in a Close Runoff to Reclaim the Presidency of Brazil

Security only let a few supporters in, and Gabriela Souto was one of them. She said, “Four years.” In the first round of voting on October 2, Bolsonaro was in the lead early on, but after votes from his strongholds were counted, da Silva pulled ahead. Both men are politicians who make people angry and hate each other.

The vote will decide if the fourth-largest democracy in the world stays on a far-right path or puts a leftist back in charge and if Bolsonaro will accept losing. Several reports said that between 2003 and 2010, people tried to stop Da Silva from voting.

By morning, the polling places in Brasilia were full, and a retired man said he would vote for da Silva. Gomes, 65, from the poor state of Maranhao, said, “He’s best for the poor, especially in the country.” “He always gave us nothing to eat.”

Most polls before the election put Lula da Silva in the lead, but political experts agree that the race has become closer. As Da Silva talked about his time as president, when Brazil’s economy grew and welfare helped tens of millions of people join the middle class, he seemed to be on his way to an easy win.

Bolsonaro loses to Da Silva, but not by enough to prevent a runoff. Bolsonaro got 43% of the vote in the first round of voting on Oct. 2, which shows that polls underestimated how popular he was. Bolsonaro has gained support for his socially conservative ideas by spending a lot of money.

Most of the time, first-round candidates in Brazil win the runoff. A political scientist named Rodrigo Prando said that Bolsonaro’s win can’t be ruled out.

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In the first round, 20 million of Brazil’s 150 million eligible voters didn’t vote. Both da Silva and Bolsonaro have worked hard to get people to the polls. The federal highway police were not allowed to interfere with voters’ ability to get to the polls.

Still, there were many reports of checkpoints and stops for traffic. Globo, a television network, said there were more than 500 stops, with half of them in the northeast, which is a stronghold for the Workers’ Party. The party asked for the highway police director to be arrested and for voting hours to be moved back.

The head of Brazil’s election authority, Alexandre de Moraes, told reporters that no stop lasted more than 15 minutes, that voter turnout wasn’t affected, and that polls would close at 5 p.m. local time as planned.

Bolsonaro was the first person to vote at a military complex in Rio de Janeiro. Green and yellow, the colors of Brazil’s flag, are always present at his rallies. “I think our win will be good for Brazil,” he said. “We’ll win today, God willing. Brazil has won.”

Da Silva voted on Sunday in Sao Bernardo do Campo, where he has lived for decades and where he started his political career as a union leader. During the campaign, he wore white instead of the traditional red color of his party.

Lula Defeats Bolsonaro in a Close Runoff to Reclaim the Presidency of Brazil

“Today, we get to decide what kind of country and society Brazil will be. People decide how to live “reporter: da Silva. “The most important day for me is today. I’m sure Brazilians will support a plan for democracy.”

The candidates didn’t have many ideas for the country’s future, other than promising to keep a large welfare program for the poor going even though the budget is tight. More online attacks against Bolsonaro were put out by his team.

Trump backed him and said he has earned the respect of Brazil and the world. Da Silva blamed Bolsonaro’s lack of state visits and bilateral meetings for Brazil’s falling standing in the world. “Don’t lose him,” Trump said. “It would be bad for your country. No, I love your country. Vote Bolsonaro. He is doing fine.”

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During his four years in office, he has been a conservative and put Christian values first. He said that if his rival got back into power, communism, legalized drugs, abortion, and persecution of the church would happen. However, none of those things happened during da Silva’s first eight years in office.

On Sunday, Livia Correia and her husband Pedro took their two young children to a polling place in the Copacabana neighborhood of Rio. Everyone wore shirts that were green and yellow. Livia, who is 36 years old, chose Bolsonaro because he stands up for family values, God, and free speech.

Da Silva went to jail for stealing money and being a crook. In 2019, the Supreme Court threw out his convictions, saying that judges were biased and that prosecutors worked together. Bolsonaro talked about the convictions over and over again.

In recent days, the president’s campaign has made new claims that the election was rigged that have not been proven. If Bolsonaro loses, he could challenge the results, just like Trump, who he likes. He said for months that electronic voting machines in the United States are prone to fraud, but he never showed proof.

Recent allegations involve political ad airtime. The campaign for Bolsonaro said that radio stations hurt him by not running 150,000 ads for him. Pedro Correia, who is 40 years old, moved to Copacabana with his wife and two children. “It can’t be done.”

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