Leftist Lula da Silva Narrowly Defeats Jair Bolsonaro To Win Brazil’s Presidency, Vows A Return To Socialism


(Reuters) Leftist Luis Inacio Lula da Silva on Sunday defeated President Jair Bolsonaro in an election runoff that marked a stunning comeback for Lula and the end of Brazil’s most right-wing government in decades.

Lula won 50.9% of votes compared with 49.1% for Bolsonaro, the Supreme Electoral Court said, declaring former president Lula the winner. The 77-year-old Lula’s inauguration is scheduled for Jan. 1.

Bolsonaro, 67, who for years has made baseless claims that Brazil’s voting system is prone to fraud, remained silent initially about the result. Electoral authorities are bracing for him to dispute the outcome, sources told Reuters, and made security preparations in case his supporters stage protests.

Democracy,” Lula wrote on Twitter, above a photo of the Brazilian flag beneath his left hand, missing his little finger, the result of an accident he suffered as a metalworker decades ago.

He was greeted by ecstatic supporters at a rally on Sao Paulo’s Paulista Avenue ahead of a planned speech. Vice President-elect Geraldo Alckmin and campaign aides jumped up and down chanting, “It’s time Jair, it’s time to leave already,” in a video circulating on social media.

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