Lula da Silva wins first round of presidential election in Brazil | Current America | DW

Brazil |  presidential elections

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva narrowly won the first round of Brazil’s presidential elections. The left-leaning ex-head of state came to 47.97 percent, as the electoral office announced after counting almost all the votes. The right-wing incumbent Jair Bolsonaro received 43.60 percent. However, the result was much closer than expected: Lula da Silva had recently been clearly ahead in the polls. They had predicted 50 to 51 percent for Lula da Silva and 36 to 37 percent for Bolsonaro. According to experts, many respondents did not identify their actual favorites or only decided on election day.

Since neither candidate got more than 50 percent of the vote, Lula and Bolsonaro will face off in a runoff on October 30. If ex-president Lula also wins in the second round, he would be Brazil’s first democratic president to serve a third term.

Brazil |  presidential elections

Lula da Silva supporters celebrate his election result

Lula da Silva cast his ballot in the city of Sao Bernardo do Campo, Sao Paulo state. Bolsonaro voted in Rio de Janeiro. On Sunday, 156 million people in Brazil were asked to cast their vote. The 27 governors, the congressmen and the state parliaments are also newly elected. Voting is compulsory in Brazil.

Former trade union leader Lula da Silva ruled Brazil from 2003 to 2010. After serving time in prison for corruption from April 2018 to November 2019, he regained his political rights in March 2021. The trials and verdicts were annulled due to procedural errors.

Brazil |  Election 2022 - Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva

Lula da Silva voting in Sao Paulo

In the run-up to the elections, there had been fears of possible outbreaks of violence. In the past few months, at least three supporters of Lula’s Labor Party PT (Partido dos Trabalhadores) have been killed by Bolsonaro supporters.

In addition, Bolsonaro fueled rumors that the electronic ballot boxes were being manipulated. Anything but his landslide victory today is impossible under normal conditions, the President said. He will only accept the outcome of the election “if the elections are clean,” said Bolsonaro in front of a polling station on Sunday morning. So many people came to his campaign appearances that his victory was inevitable.

Brazil Rio de Janeiro |  Brazil Election 2022 - Jair Bolsonaro voting

Jair Bolsonaro voting in Rio de Janeiro

Ambitious projects

Lula da Silva enjoys support especially in the poor north-east of the country and among people with low and middle incomes. He wants to expand the “Bolsa Família” social system for poor families, strengthen the rule of law and promises higher taxes for high earners. The 76-year-old wants to fight illegal mining in the Amazon region just as resolutely as deforestation and attacks on the protected areas of the indigenous population.

Ex-military Bolsonaro won four years ago by announcing that he would rid Brazil of corruption, reduce unemployment and boost the economy. However, little has remained of his promises. Bolsonaro cites the corona pandemic and drought in Brazil as reasons for the economic stagnation. With around 700,000 corona deaths, Brazil was one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic.

The presidential election in Brazil is also of great importance for the rest of the world. As a huge carbon reservoir, the Amazon region plays an important role in the fight against global climate change. In view of the tense situation on the energy and food markets due to the Ukraine war, the country with its enormous natural resources and large agricultural economy is also an interesting trading partner.

kle/wa (epd, dpa, kna, rtr, afp)


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