Lula de Silva has won the presidential elections in Brazil, in what was the closest election contest in Brazil since 1989. The incumbent Jair Bolsonaro lost, reportedly becoming the first Brazilian leader to lose an reelection. The contest was widely described in Brazilian media as a 'knife's edge contest'. Lula won 50.9 per cent of the valid votes and Bolsonaro won 49.1per cent.
It is customary in Brazil for the losing candidate to call the victorious candidate to congratulate him and then to acknowledge the results of the election publicly. So far. Bolsonaro has maintained silence. "Jair Bolsonaro has remained out of public view since 8 p.m. Sunday, when the Superior Electoral Court declared Lula the winner of the second and final round," as per reports the Post.
Bolsonaro's silence has translated into protests and blockades on the streets of Brazil. Nearly 300 highways are blocked as a result of Bolsonaro's supporters not accepting the results.
Meanwhile, world leaders have begun congratulating Lula, be it India's PM, US' president, France's president or Russia's president. Lula is apparently quite close to Putin, which makes his views on the Russia Ukraine war not entirely surprising.
"Putin shouldn’t have invaded Ukraine. But it’s not just Putin who is guilty. The US and EU are also guilty. What was the reason for the Ukraine invasion? NATO? Then the US and EU should have said: 'Ukraine won’t join NATO.' That would have solved the problem" said Lula. Speaking on Zelensky, he said "Sometimes I sit and watch the President of Ukraine speaking on television, being applauded, getting a standing ovation by all the [foreign] parliamentarians. This guy is as responsible as Putin for the war. Because in war, there’s not just one person guilty".
Back in August, Ceslo Amorin, Lula's top foreign policy advisor, had said to Bloomberg that Lula opposes sanctions on Russia, because they increase the risk of nuclear war. Instead, Lula will continue the policy he previously followed as president of pursuing close diplomatic ties with Russia.
The current conventional wisdom on Lula is that his next term won’t be as economically prosperous or politically successful as his previous terms. Global economic headwinds combined with a strong Bolsonarista opposition in the Congress and in state and local governments will make it much harder for him to govern.
On economics, he’ll play both sides, leaning towards centrist advisors and an orthodox economic policy while also expanding social spending. It will be a balance that in theory makes the business community and his base generally happy. But he won't get the same benefits of growth that he did in the past. Lula won by just over two million votes. The electoral data suggests that as many as 6 million votes were blank/null.
As of now, Bolsonaro is still silent, since the results were announced. He’s held a meeting with close advisors in the presidential palace, and since that time, has reportedly left the palace with no announcements.
His wife, Michelle, has unfollowed both him and his son Carlos, who have in turn followed suit, which is odd.
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