Brasilia, Oct 31 (UiTV/IANS) – Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has defeated sitting President Jair Bolsonaro in the presidential election runoff.
After winning the second round of presidential elections on Sunday, Lula of the Workers’ Party (PT) will now serve a four-year term beginning on January 1, 2023, reports Xinhua news agency.
According to figures released by the Superior Electoral Tribunal, Lula obtained 59.8 million votes, or 50.86 per cent of the total, surpassing Bolsonaro of the Liberal Party (PL), who received 57.8 million votes, or 49.14 per cent.
This is the smallest difference in a runoff in Brazil’s history.
In the first round held on October 2, Lula obtained 48.3 per cent of the vote, compared to 43.2 per cent received by Bolsonaro.
Lula, who had served two terms in office between January 2003 and December 2010, focused his campaign on social issues, making pledges including minimum wage increases, strengthening of state-owned companies, and efforts against hunger and poverty.
This is a comeback for the former President who could not run in the 2018 election because he was in jail and banned from standing for office, the BBC reported.
He had been found guilty of receiving a bribe from a Brazilian construction firm in return for contracts with Brazil’s state oil company Petrobras.
Lula spent 580 days in jail before his conviction was annulled and he returned to the political fray.
In his victory speech, he said he would govern for all Brazilians and not just those who voted for him.
“This country needs peace and unity. This population doesn’t want to fight anymore,” the BBC quoted Lula as saying.
Bolsonaro however, is yet to concede.