Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva won the presidential elections in Brazil on Monday beating the incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, reported the BBC.
During Sunday’s vote counting, Lula secured 50.3% of the vote compared with 49.7% for Bolsonaro, reported The Guardian. The former factory worker, who became Brazil’s first working-class president exactly 20 years ago, registered a significant win on Sunday.
The 77-year-old politician could not contest the last presidential election in 2018 because he was in jail and banned from standing for office. Silva spent 580 days in jail before his conviction was annulled.
“I will govern for 215 million Brazilians … and not just for those who voted for me,” Silva said in São Paulo, reported The Guardian. “There are not two Brazils. We are one country, one people – a great nation. It is in nobody’s interests to live in a country that is divided and in a constant state of war.”
The ouster of right-wing leader Bolsonaro comes at a time when the South American country is undergoing a politically polarising time. During his time as president, Bolsonaro had pushed nationalistic rhetoric and promoted anti-gender and anti-LGBTQ ideology, aiming to focus on supposedly traditional family values.
During Bolsonaro’s tenure deforestation in Amazon rainforest increased and violent attacks on Indigenous lands and peoples also saw an uptick.
Silva’s victory in the presidential elections has been acknowledged by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President of the United States Joe Biden.
“The people of Brazil have spoken,” Trudeau tweeted. “I’m looking forward to working with Lula to strengthen the partnership between our countries, to deliver results for Canadians and Brazilians, and to advance shared priorities – like protecting the environment. Congratulations, Lula!”
“I send my congratulations to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on his election to be the next president of Brazil following free, fair, and credible elections,” Biden said. “I look forward to working together to continue the cooperation between our two countries in the months and years ahead.”