Brazil’s Lula beats Bolsonaro in stunning political comeback

According to Brazil’s election authority, Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, a leftist former president, won Brazil’s presidential race Sunday. He beat Jair Bolsonaro, who received 50.90%.

Why it matters: These results are a remarkable political return for Lula who was unable to contest the previous presidential election due to corruption convictions. Bolsonaro will likely challenge Lula’s victory. He has claimed for months that Brazil’s electronic voting system is susceptible to manipulation, but there is no evidence.

Lula stated to supporters in Sao Paulo, “Bolsonaro had not called me to acknowledge my victory, and he doesn’t know if he’ll call or if he won’t recognize my victory,” Reuters reports.

Bolsonaro was yet to comment publicly on Sunday’s results. He had received 49.10% of the votes, and 100% of them were counted.


State of play: Lula was a former president for two terms and was prevented from running against Bolsonaro during the last election because of his conviction charges. These charges were dropped, and Lula can now run for a third term.

Bolsonaro’s 77-year old leftist was the leader in the polls throughout the campaign. After polls had underestimated Bolsonaro’s abilities in the first round, Sunday’s runoff was a tossup.

The campaign saw misinformation rise and was also accompanied by politically motivated violence.

Lula has pledged to prioritise the environment, including fighting deforestation in the Amazon which reached a 15 year high under Bolsonaro.

He also promises to “rebuild” and transform the country after a decade-long economic slump that was made worse by the coronavirus epidemic.

They’re saying this: President Biden sent Lula his congratulations on his election as the next president of Brazil after free, fair and credible elections.

Biden said that he was looking forward to “working together” to maintain the cooperation between the two countries over the coming months and years.

The big picture: According to many analysts, Sunday was the fourth largest democracy in the world. Voters will decide whether to continue Brazil’s extreme-right path under Bolsonaro, or return it to the leftist policies of Lula 2003-2010.

As other South American countries turn towards the left, Lula’s return is also possible.

Colombia elected its first leftist president earlier in the year. Chile and Honduras voted last year for left-wing politicians as a replacement for conservative leaders.