Luis Inacio “Lula” da Silva was elected Brazil’s next president, making a spectacular comeback after a tough runoff vote on Sunday. His victory marks a political turning point for Latin America’s largest nation after his four years in the far-right regime of Jair Bolsonaro.
The 76-year-old politician’s victory marks the return of the left to power in Brazil and caps off a triumphant personal comeback for Lula da Silva, whose string of corruption allegations led to 580 days in prison . The ruling was later overturned by the Supreme Court, paving the way for him to run for re-election.
“They tried to bury me alive, but here I am,” he said in a jubilant address to supporters and journalists on Sunday night, describing the victory as his political ‘resurrection’. .
“From January 1, 2023, I will govern not only for those who voted for me, but for the 215 million Brazilians. Brazil is not two. One people, one great country,” said Lula da Silva.
He will hold the reins of a country plagued by gross inequalities that is still struggling to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. Between 2019 and his 2021, about 9.6 million people fell below the poverty line, with declining literacy and school enrollment rates. He will also face a deeply divided nation and urgent environmental problems, including rampant deforestation in the Amazon.
This will be his third term after ruling Brazil for two consecutive terms from 2003 to 2010.
Sunday’s victory for the former leader was the latest in a political wave across Latin America, along with victories by left-wing politicians in Argentina, Colombia and Chile. (a former union leader with the same name) has tried to reassure moderates throughout his campaign.
He has forged broad alliances that include several center- and center-right politicians, including the historic opponent of the PSDB, Brazil’s social democratic party. Among these politicians is his vice-president and former governor of Sao Paulo, Gerald Alcumin.
During the campaign, Lula da Silva was reluctant to show his cards when outlining his economic strategy, a trend that was harshly criticized by his competitors. “Who are the other candidates for economy minister? None, he says. What will be his political and economic route? More states? Fewer states? I don’t know…” Bolsonaro said in October. He said it during a live broadcast on YouTube on the 22nd.
Lula da Silva says he will lobby Congress to approve tax reform that exempts low-income earners from paying income tax. And his campaign has received a boost from centrist former presidential candidate Simone Tebet, who came third in the first round earlier this month and endorsed Lula da Silva in the runoff. Tebet, who is known for his connections with the agricultural industry, said at a press conference on October 7 that Lulada Silva and his economic team had “received all the proposals from our program and have applied them to his government’s program.” I took it in,” he said.
He is also endorsed by prominent economists highly regarded by investors, including Arminio Fraga, former governor of the Brazilian Central Bank.
Lula da Silva received more than 60 million votes, the most in Brazilian history, breaking her personal record from 2006.
But despite a huge turnout from his supporters, his victory was a narrow margin – Lula da Silva won 50.90% of the vote, while Bolsonaro won 49.10%, according to Brazilian election officials. Earned.
His greatest challenge now may be to unify the politically divided country.
Hours after the results were announced, Bolsonaro had neither admitted defeat nor made an official statement. Meanwhile, videos on social his media revealed that he blocked highways in two states for his supporters to protest against Silva’s victory over Loulada.
“The army will take over the country and then we will leave,” said an unidentified Bolsonaro supporter in a video shot in the state of Southern Santa Catarina.
Lula da Silva will need to pursue dialogue and rebuild ties, said Carlos Melo, a political scientist at Inpel, a university in Sao Paulo. “A president can be an important vehicle for that, as long as he’s not just concerned with dealing with his own constituency,” he said.
With more than 58 million votes cast for rival Bolsonaro, Lula da Silva will need to form “real alliances” with some of the centrist and right-wing sympathizers of his predecessor’s politics, he added. rice field. His Thiago Amparo, Professor of Law and Human Rights at his FGV Business His School in São Paulo, said:
At the same time, Amparo added that he must meet the expectations of his supporters. “Many voters went to the polls not only to eliminate Bolsonaro, but with the memory of better economic times under Lula’s previous administration, expecting it.”
The 2017 Labor Reform Act left workers’ rights and benefits to bargaining with employers and made union contributions voluntary. Lula da Silva previously said she would reverse the act, but recently she changed her verb to “review” after criticism from the private sector.
Enacting his agenda may prove to be an uphill battle, and Amparo may find it particularly difficult in a hostile parliament. They are not open to negotiations and are not easy to deal with, Amparo stressed.
In recent elections, Bolsonaro’s Liberal Party increased the number of members in the House of Representatives from 76 to 99, and doubled the number of members in the Senate from seven to 14. There are seven senators from him to eight he has, but on the whole conservative politicians will rule the next Congress.
That friction will require some compromise, says Camila Rocha, a political scientist at the Sevrap think tank. “[Bolsonaro’s] The Liberal Party will have the greatest number of representation and important allies and will truly oppose the government. [Lula da Silva’s] Labor must form a coalition [traditional rightwing party] To govern União Brasil, which means negotiating ministries and key positions,” Rocha told CNN.
Environmentalists, meanwhile, are keeping a close eye on the government of Lula da Silva, who has assumed control not only of the nation of Brazil, but of the planet’s largest forest reserve.
With the destruction of the vast Amazon rainforest reaching record levels under President Bolsonaro, Lula da Silva has repeatedly said during his campaign that he would seek to curb deforestation. Citing the beauty and pharmaceutical industries as potential beneficiaries of diversity, he argued that protecting forests could yield some benefits.
In an interview with a foreign press in August, Lula da Silva called for a “new global governance” to deal with climate change and said Brazil should play a central role in that governance given its natural resources. emphasized.
Another tactic, according to Aloysio Mercadante, head of government planning for Lula da Silva, is to create a group that includes Brazil, Indonesia and Congo ahead of the UN-led Conference of the Parties in November 2022. That’s it. The group aims to put pressure on wealthier countries to fund forest conservation and outline strategies for global carbon markets.
Several experts told CNN they believe his stance on environmental and climate issues could represent a fresh start in Brazil’s international relations.
For Amparo, environmentalism could be the starting point for Brazil’s global leadership, a major shift after Bolsonaro warned the world to stop intervening in the destruction of the Amazon. “Lula will try to reposition Brazil as a country to be reckoned with on the international stage, like a rebrand,” he said.
Insper researcher Melo said: