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'Our fight is in search of spring' - Lula is elected in Brazil

Brazil's former President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has claimed victory in a tightly contested election which saw far-right Bolasanaro narrowly lose. 

Brazil’s former leftist president sealed an astonishing political comeback, beating the far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro in one of the most significant in the country’s history.Lula had secured 50.9% of the vote. Bolsonaro,  who was elected in 2018, received 49.10%. Since Mr Bolsonaro took office in 2019, forest fires and deforestation soared in the Amazon, with the federal government turning a blind eye to illegal logging, mining, cattle-grazing and land-grabbing. Brazil's rainforests went from a carbon sink to a carbon source. 

Addressing journalists at a hotel in São Paulo, Lula vowed to reunify his country after a toxic race for power which has profoundly divided one of the world’s largest democracies.

“We are going to live new times of peace, love and hope,” said the 77-year-old, who was sidelined from the 2018 election that saw Bolsonaro claim power after being jailed on corruption charges that were later annulled.

“I will govern for 215m Brazilians … and not just for those who voted for me. There are not two Brazils. We are one country, one people – a great nation,” he said to applause. “It is in nobody’s interests to live in a country that is divided and in a constant state of war.”

Mr Bolsanaro was nicknamed the “Trump of the tropics” – and he used a similar playbook. Like the former US president, Mr Bolsanaro polarised his divided country by denigrating women, gay people and minorities. He armed his supporters by flooding the country with guns. A pandemic that killed almost 700,000 people helped push poverty numbers to the highest on record and saw him sink in the polls.

Read more at the Guardian 

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