Bolsonaro, Lula seek runoff in disputed Brazilian presidential election

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva edged incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil’s elections on Sunday, but neither reached the over 50 percent threshold required for victory. A second round of runoff voting will now take place on October 30th to determine the winner.

The results showed Lula leading with 48.2 percent of the vote, while Bolsonaro has 43.4 percent with only about 100 percent of the ballots counted.

Brazil Election Lula
Supporters of former Brazilian President and Labor Party (PT) candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva shout slogans at the end of general election day at Largo da Prainha October 2, 2022 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Da Silva, commonly referred to as Lula, had voted well ahead of Bolsonaro in the days leading up to the election. He served as president from 2001 to 2010 and “reigned in a moment of abundance of resources and popularity,” according to Bruna Santos, a senior advisor at the Wilson Center’s Brazil Institute.

“After two terms in office, he left a boastful 80 percent approval rating, Brazil’s middle class grew and the country’s notorious gap between rich and poor narrowed. All of this has been bolstered by rising global commodity prices,” Santos wrote in an email news week On Sunday.

Lula was jailed in 2018 after being convicted on corruption charges and sentenced to 12 years. However, he was released from prison in 2019 and his conviction was later overturned by Brazil’s highest court. In April, the UN Human Rights Committee found that Lula’s investigations and prosecutions “violated his right to a fair trial, his right to privacy and his political rights.”

Lula’s win comes as Bolsonaro tried to cast doubt on Brazil’s electoral system, accusing it without evidence of being prone to fraud, according to CNN that unless they get “at least 60 percent” of the vote, the public should be suspicious to be against the result. He has been criticized for attacking and organizing protests against the state’s judicial system, and has a record of anti-LGBTQ commentary and action, such as removing LGBTQ rights from Human Rights Department deliberations and mentioning homosexuality in textbooks.

Said Santos news week that Lula will “govern under very different circumstances” than before.

“The country has endured more than a decade of economic turmoil and the international chessboard has changed too, largely due to a supply chain shock stemming from the war in Ukraine. Opportunities are opening up for Brazil as the country is among the top 10 oil and gas producers in the world and a global producer and exporter of soybeans, coffee, sugar and meat,” wrote Santos.

“Brazil is well positioned in the global energy transition, with half of the country’s energy coming from renewable sources. It is worth noting that Brazil also boasts the financial technology market in Latin America, which is the fifth largest in the world.”

Sunday’s elections mean Brazil’s elections will drag on for another month. Lula was well ahead of Bolsonaro in the days leading up to the election and with a lead in the first round of the competition could be poised to make a major political comeback.

Lula previously served as president between 2001 and 2010, and “reigned in a moment of abundance of resources and popularity,” according to Bruna Santos, a senior advisor at the Wilson Center’s Brazil Institute.

Before the election results came in on Saturday, Santos said news week in an email that Lula “topped the polls in a presidential election marred by violence, extreme political polarization and a deliberate campaign led by his opponent, President Jair Bolsonaro, that cast doubt on the electoral process and institutions.”

“Bolsonaro has spent the last two years spreading conspiracy theories about the Brazilian electoral system,” Santos said.

Bolsonaro has been criticized for attacking and organizing protests against the state’s justice system, and has a record of anti-LGBTQ commentary and action, such as removing LGBTQ rights from Human Rights Department deliberations and mentioning homosexuality in textbooks.

In 2018, Bolsonaro was elected on a promise to develop the Amazon, and under his administration deforestation hit a 15-year high, according to the Associated Press.

Bolsonaro said that “fundamental values ​​for Brazilian society, reflected in the human rights agenda, are the defense of the family, the right to life from conception, self-defense and the rejection of gender ideology.”

He also defended criticism of his environmental policies, stating that in the “Brazilian Amazon, an area that corresponds to Western Europe, more than 80 percent of the forest remains untouched, contrary to what is published by the major national and international media “. CNN.

The incumbent president, supported and praised by former US President Donald Trump, called Bolsonaro “one of the great presidents of any country in the world” in a video message on Saturday.

“He has done an absolutely incredible job with your economy, with your country. He is respected by everyone around the world. That is why I strongly support President Bolsonaro. He will hopefully be your leader for a long time,” Trump said.

Said Santos news week that if Lula were elected for another term as President, he would “reign under circumstances entirely different” than before.

“The country has endured more than a decade of economic turmoil and the international chessboard has changed too, largely due to a supply chain shock stemming from the war in Ukraine. Opportunities are opening up for Brazil as the country is among the top 10 oil and gas producers in the world and a global producer and exporter of soybeans, coffee, sugar and meat,” wrote Santos.

“Brazil is well positioned in the global energy transition, with half of the country’s energy coming from renewable sources. It is worth noting that Brazil also boasts the financial technology market in Latin America, which is the fifth largest in the world.”

https://www.newsweek.com/bolsonaro-lula-head-runoff-contentious-brazil-presidential-election-1748244 Bolsonaro, Lula seek runoff in disputed Brazilian presidential election

Rick Schindler

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