Former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva won the second round of the presidential elections in Brazil on Sunday with 50.84% of the votes, compared to 49.16% for the current president, Jair Bolsonaro, with 99.10% of the ballot boxes counted.
The leader of the Workers’ Party (PT), who governed between 2003 and 2010, will once again occupy the presidency of an extremely divided Brazil from 1 January 2023 and for the next four years.
Lula obtained 59.7 million votes, while Bolsonaro, leader of Brazil’s extreme right and a retired army captain, won 57.7 million, with 99.10% of the vote counted, according to data from the Superior Electoral Court (TSE).
The excitement in the vote count was maintained until the last moment in what is already the closest election in the country’s history. Bolsonaro, a nostalgic of the military dictatorship (1964-1985), began the count ahead. However, with 67.76% counted, the progressive ex-president took the lead, a trend that remained until the end, although always with a very small margin.
The former lathe operator was also the winner of the first round, held on 2 October, when he obtained 48.4 % of the votes, compared to Bolsonaro’s 43.2 %. With his victory, 77-year-old Lula will once again lead Latin America’s largest economy.
During the campaign he promised to “rebuild” Bolsonaro’s Brazil, to end hunger, which today affects some 33 million Brazilians, and to “place the poor in the budgets” of the state, combining social, fiscal and environmental responsibility. He also anticipated that he would be in power for a single term, which in Brazil is four years.
Lula’s victory was unthinkable a few years ago due to the multiple corruption trials he had to face. But in 2021 the Supreme Court overturned the convictions that made him spend 580 days in prison, thus recovering his political rights.