Colloquially known as ‘Lula,’ former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva managed to take down the current incumbent, President Jair Bolsonaro, in a heavily contested election, that finalized this past Sunday evening, and is slated to be the next President of Brazil.
As 99% of the total vote was confirmed to be in and counted, the self-labeled socialist took down the incumbent populist conservative Jair Bolsonaro by a slim difference of 50.9% – 49.1%. This election first was sent into a run-off between the pair of top finishers after neither managed to secure a strong majority throughout the first round: Lula sat at the front of the pack with 48% to the 43% sported by Bolsonaro, but Bolsonaro was seen as outperforming in polls which stated that Lula would end up with a runaway victory within the first round.
Lula is known to be one of the founding members of the left-wing Worker’s Party for Brazil. He was previously a perennial presidential candidate prior to coming ot power via the 2002 Brazilian elections and managed to hold onto the office from 2003-2010. Lula has also been labeled as a populist and is seen as an icon throughout Latin American, where his ideology, known as Lulism, is a heavily popular flavor of socialism.
This victory for Lula over Bolsonaro seems to follow the current trend of many left-wing governments rising to power all across Latin America, labeled by some observers as yet another ‘pink tide’ that seems to remind experts of another political shift that took place throughout the first few years of the 21st century. over the course of the last days of the campaign, President Bolsonaro took part in an interview concerning the possible stakes for this election.
“We in Brazil cannot possibly join the Venezuela club, or league of countries, which now includes Chile, Argentina, and Nicaragua. Brazil is the most important country in South America, so if Brazil succumbs to the left-wing, that’s the end of South America,” he claimed.
Brazil holds the title of the 7th most populous nation on the planet, home to well over 215 million people as well as being the 12th largest economy on the planet — all while being the largest country in Latin America by a large margin.
Despite he and his admin being labeled as ‘moderate left,’ Lula was a known supporter of Hugo Chavez in his rise to power to control Venezuela and was also allied with him and many other left-leaning leaders throughout the area. Lula was also a key figure in the negotiating of the Obama Administration’s Iran Nuclear Deal, and openly condemned the killing by the Trump Administration of Qassem Soleimani.
Old Uncle Joe chose to put forth his own official statement which congratulated Lula in the wake of his victory, claiming that his election had been “free, fair, and credible.”