Lula da Silva defeats Bolsonaro to return as Brazil’s President for third time

Lula's campaign promised a new tax regime that will allow for higher public spending

Sao Paulo: Brazil’s Lula da Silva emerged as the country’s new president on Sunday after he defeated incumbent president Jair Bolsonaro in a fierce voting which was a tight race between the two politicians, CNN reported.

Widely known as “Lula”, the politician gained 50.83 per cent of the votes, with over 98 per cent of the votes counted in a fiercely contested run-off election on Sunday whereas his opponent Bolsonaro managed to get 49.17 per cent votes.

Earlier on October 2, CNN reported that none of the candidates could hit the 5 per cent mark needed to win in the first round. The presidential candidates also voted on Sunday as Lula cast his vote at a public school in the Sao Paulo metro Area and Bolsonaro cast his ballot in Rio de Janeiro early Sunday morning.

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Notably, this year’s elections allowed for the eligibility of more than 156 million people to cast their votes.

Lula, 76, focused his campaign on getting Bolsonaro out of office and highlighted his past achievements throughout his campaign. His campaign promised a new tax regime that will allow for higher public spending. He has vowed to end hunger in the country, which has returned during the Bolsonaro government.

Whereas, Bolsonaro, 67, ran for re-election under the conservative Liberal Party. He has campaigned to increase mining, privatize public companies, and generate more sustainable energy to bring down energy prices. He has vowed to continue paying a Brazilian real 600 (about USD 110) monthly benefit known as Auxilio Brasil.

Often referred to as the “Trump of the Tropics,” Bolsonaro, who is supported by key evangelical leaders, is a highly polarizing figure. His government is known for its support of ruthless exploitation of land in the Amazon, leading to record deforestation figures.

Moreover, Lula is also no stranger to controversy. He was convicted for corruption and money laundering in 2017, on charges stemming from the wide-ranging “Operation Car Wash” investigation into the state-run oil company Petrobras. But after serving less than two years, a Supreme Court Justice annulled Lula’s conviction in March 2021, clearing the way for him to run for president for the sixth time.

Meanwhile, Bolsonaro sowed doubts about the voting system without evidence, raising questions about whether he would accept defeat Lula is making a bid to return to the top of Brazilian politics 20 years after he first stormed to the presidency

The 76-year-old former metal worker and union leader lifted millions out of poverty as president but has since been tainted by corruption scandals.

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