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Friday, February 3, 2023

Lula Wins Presidential Election; Bolsonaro Refuses to Accept Defeat

Lula won the presidential race with a narrow majority of 50.9% of the votes against Bolsonaro’s 49.1%

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BRAZIL: Following the second round of voting in Brazil on Sunday, former leftist leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva narrowly surpassed his competitor, incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro, in a heated presidential standoff.

However, even after news broke of his downfall at the polls, the far-right incumber leader did not concede defeat on Sunday night, rousing concerns that he might contest the result.

According to the numbers declared by the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE), Lula won the presidential race with a narrow majority of 50.9% of the votes against Bolsonaro’s 49.1%. The left-wing reformist and former President, Lula, is scheduled to be inaugurated into his office on January 1, 2023.

Lula’s win at the polls marks a momentous victory and a comeback for the 77-year-old leader who retaliated hard against Bolsonaro, the first Brazilian incumbent leader to lose a presidential race.

Addressing a huge crowd of jubilant supporters to celebrate his big win at Sao Paulo’s Paulista Ave, Lula said: “So far, Bolsonaro has not called me to recognise my victory, and I don’t know if he will call or if he will recognise my victory.”

According to a credible source in the Bolsonaro campaign, the current President will not make public remarks until Monday.

Last year, Bolsonaro openly remarked that he would not consent to accepting the results of the presidential race if they did not rule in his favour.

He said that he would not concede defeat, making baseless claims of alleged voter fraud due to Brazil’s problematic and flawed voting system.

A close Bolsonaro ally and lawmaker, Carla Zambelli, acknowledged the public’s fears about Bolsonaro’s defeat and tweeted: “I PROMISE you, I will be the greatest opposition that Lula has ever imagined.”

Owing to speculations regarding the nature of Bolsonaro’s response to the defeat and Lula’s prospective candidates to form his cabinet, investors will be assessing the situation very carefully, leading to some volatility in the financial markets.

Bolsonaro’s defeat marks a revolutionary milestone as it signifies the loss of people’s faith in a leader who emerged from the back benches of Congress to form a new conservative coalition and became unpopular after the pandemic led to one of the worst death tolls in Brazilian history.

U.S. President Joe Biden expressed his congratulations to Lula for his win in “free, fair, and credible elections”. He joined other European and Latin American leaders in congratulating the leader.

According to international election observers, Sunday’s election was conducted efficiently and fairly. One observer speaking to a news agency confirmed that military auditors did not find any flaws or miscalculations in the integrity tests they did of the voting mechanism.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, truck drivers believed to be Bolsonaro supporters caused a blockade on a highway in four places in the state of Mato Grosso, a major production hub for grain, according to the highway authorities.

Another video footage circulating online showed a man claiming that truckers planned to barricade the country’s main highways, urging a military coup to assemble to prevent Lula from assuming office.

Also Read: Biden’s Plan to Eliminate Student Loans is Temporarily Halted

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