Brazil’s outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro had yet to concede defeat in the presidentials, raising fears his supporters might contest the victory of his leftist rival, former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Tens of thousands of happy supporters took to the streets of Sao Paulo to celebrate the victory of Lula, a 77-year-old former metalworker who served two terms as president from 2003 to 2011. His electoral win follows a spell in prison for corruption convictions that were later quashed.
Bolsonaro left his residence and headed to the presidential palace, but had still not made any public comments. He is the first Brazilian incumbent to lose a presidential election. Lula has promised to overturn his legacy, including liberal gun ownership policies and the insufficient protection of the Amazon rainforest.
“I will govern for 215 million Brazilians, and not just for those who voted for me,” Lula said at his campaign headquarters. “There are not two Brazils. We are one country, one people, one great nation.”
The Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) declared Lula’s victory with 50.9% of votes, against 49.1% for Bolsonaro. Lula’s inauguration is scheduled for January 1.
Lula’s victory is described as a part of a new “pink tide” in Latin America, meaning the left will govern all the region’s major economies after a series of electoral wins from Mexico to Argentina.
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