By Anthony Faiola, Paulina Villegas, Gabriela Sá Pessoa, Samantha Schmidt and Rachel Pannett
Updated October 31, 2022 at 12:14 a.m. EDT|Published October 30, 2022 at 5:15 a.m. EDT
Former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, an icon of the Latin American left, defeated President Jair Bolsonaro on Sunday to win a third term leading the region’s largest country, the Superior Electoral Court said, capping a remarkable political comeback less than three years after he walked out of a prison cell.
Lula received 50.90 percent of the vote, vs. Bolsonaro’s 49.10 percent, with 100 percent of votes counted Sunday night, returning to power on pledges to defend democracy, restore social justice and save the Amazon rainforest.
“I will govern for 215 million Brazilians, and not only those who voted for me,” Lula told supporters in São Paulo. “There are not two Brazils. We are one people, one great nation.”
Here’s what else to know:
- With his victory, Lula joins a host of leftist leaders who have taken power in recent years across the region, from Colombia to Chile to Peru. His triumph also brings an end to Brazil’s most consequential and tense presidential race in decades.
- The right-wing Bolsonaro, a staunch ally of former U.S. president Donald Trump, was backed by a coalition that raised unsupported claims of electoral fraud. It was unclear if he would accept the loss. After midnight local time he had not commented publicly on the election outcome.
- Localized protests emerged Sunday night, with local news reports showing pro-Bolsonaro demonstrators blocking some roads but little in the way of an organized response from Bolsonaro supporters.