Lula da Silva’s Surprising Return to Brazil’s Presidency

After a close run-off election on Sunday Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva was declared the winner and will become Brazil’s next president. After four years of far-right governance by Jair Bolsonaro, his triumph signals a political about-face for the largest country in Latin America.

This victory for the 76-year-old politician marks the return of the left to power in Brazil and caps off a remarkable personal recovery for Lula da Silva, who was imprisoned for 580 days on corruption charges. The Supreme Court later overturned the convictions, allowing him to seek reelection.

In a speech to supporters and journalists on Sunday night, he declared the victory of his political “resurrection,” saying, “They attempted to bury me alive and I’m here.”

On January 1st, 2023, I will become president of Brazil and serve all 215 million people, not only my supporters. The country of Brazil does not exist in two different locations. Lula da Silva added, “We are one country, one people, one wonderful nation.

He’ll take charge of a country still reeling from the devastation wreaked by the Covid-19 outbreak and beset by widespread inequalities. A total of 9.6 million more individuals will be living in poverty by 2021 according to declining literacy and enrollment rates. A bitterly divided society and pressing environmental challenges, including widespread deforestation in the Amazon, will also await him.

After two consecutive terms as president of Brazil from 2003 to 2010, this will be his third.

As part of a Growing Leftist Trend, this is the Most Recent Example

On Sunday, the former leader won a new term in office the latest in a political tsunami that has already seen left-leaning politicians elected in Argentina, Colombia and Chile. But throughout his campaign, Lula da Silva, a former union leader from a blue-collar background, has tried to reassure moderates.

He has formed a wide coalition that includes various lawmakers from the center and center-right including his traditional political opponents from the PSDB (Brazil’s Social Democrat Party). Geraldo Alckmin, a former governor of So Paulo, is one among these people, and the Lula team has pointed to him as proof that his administration will be moderate.

Reuniting a Fractured Nation

Reuniting a Fractured Nation
Reuniting a Fractured Nation

More than 60 million Brazilians cast ballots for Lula da Silva, an all-time record that he himself set in 2006.

Nonetheless, the electoral body of Brazil reports that Lula da Silva obtained 50.90% of the vote and Bolsonaro received 49.10% of the vote, making Lula da Silva the victor.

Unifying the country’s various factions may now be his greatest problem.

It has been hours since the results were released and Bolsonaro has made no public comment or concession of defeat. Meanwhile, social media videos showed that his followers had stopped highways in two states to protest Lula da Silva’s triumph.

Environmental Leadership in the Amazon and the Global Climate

Meanwhile, environmentalists will be keeping a tight eye on Lula da Silva’s administration as it takes control of not only Brazil but also some of the world’s largest forest reserves.

Bolsonaro’s administration has overseen unprecedented levels of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, prompting Lula da Silva to pledge during his campaign to work to reduce this trend. He has suggested that there is a financial upside to biodiversity conservation, pointing to the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries as examples.

Lula da Silva, in an August interview with international media, advocated for “a new world governance” to combat climate change and argued that Brazil should play a pivotal role in this effort due to the country’s abundance of natural resources.

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