30th October, 2022
Former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva won Brazil’s bitterly-fought election on Sunday, according to pollster Datafolha, denying far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro a second term.
The polling firm called the election with 95% of the votes counted in Latin America’s largest country. The official count stood at 50.7% of votes for Lula against 49.3% for Bolsonaro.
A significant number of votes still remained to be counted in the Bolsonaro stronghold state of Sao Paulo, but his leftist rival was inching ahead in a runoff marred by accusations from Lula’s Workers Party that police suppressed votes in some regions.
The election serves as a referendum on two starkly different – and vehemently opposed – visions for Brazil’s future.
Bolsonaro has vowed to consolidate a sharp rightward turn in Brazilian politics after a presidency that witnessed one of the world’s deadliest outbreaks of COVID-19 in the pandemic and widespread deforestation in the Amazon basin.
Lula promises more social and environmental responsibility, recalling the rising prosperity of his 2003-2010 presidency, before corruption scandals tarnished his Workers Party.
Bolsonaro has without proof described the voting system as fraud-prone, raising concern he may not concede defeat, following the example of his ideological ally, former U.S. President Donald Trump.