Climate: “Brazil ready to play the leading roles again”, says Lula

The president-elect on Sunday spoke of the Amazon, where deforestation and fires have increased sharply under the mandate of Jair Bolsonaro.


Brazil is back! launched President-elect Lula, advocating “peace and unity” after his narrow-head victory over far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, at the end of an ultrapolarized campaign. “From 1er January, I will govern for the 215 million Brazilian men and women, not just those who voted for me, ”promised Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, 77, his voice hoarse with emotion, during his victory speech in a hotel in São Paulo.

“Nobody wants to live in a divided country, in a state of perpetual war. This country needs peace and unity. (…) There are not two Brazils, we are one people, one nation, ”insisted the icon of the left in reference to the divisive presidency of Bolsonaro. The gap, less than one percentage point, is the tightest between two presidential finalists since the return to democracy after the military dictatorship (1964-1985). Lula obtained 50.9% of the vote, against 49.1% for Jair Bolsonaro, who had still not appeared nearly two hours after the announcement of the final result.

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A deafening silence that leaves the threat of a possible challenge to this result. In recent months, Lula has been a winner in the polls, although his lead has narrowed over the weeks. The polling stations had closed Sunday at 5 p.m. (9 p.m., in Paris) in Brazil, where 156 million voters were called to decide between the former left-wing president Lula, presidential favorite, and the head of state. outgoing far-right Jair Bolsonaro.

This election was one of the most polarized in the huge country’s modern history, but was apparently passed without violence. Lula’s victory was greeted with fireworks and cheers in major Brazilian cities like Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, where hundreds of thousands of people celebrated in the streets, journalists from the AFP.

“A Living Amazon”

“Our country is too big to be relegated to the sad role of pariah”, declared the president-elect in his victory speech, assuring that Brazil was “back” on the international scene. Lula also touched on the hot topic of the Amazon, where deforestation and fires have risen sharply under Jair Bolsonaro. “Brazil is ready to play a leading role again in the fight against climate change. Brazil and the planet need a living Amazon,” he said.

“The nightmare is finally over. Lula must act firmly and quickly on the environment”, reacted the NGO collective Climate Observatory. Lula is making a remarkable comeback, 12 years after leaving power with record popularity after his first two terms (2003-2010). But he then experienced disgrace, going through the prison box, after convictions for corruption finally canceled for defect of form. After this narrow victory, Lula will have to deal with a Parliament that leans clearly to the right and he will have to forge vast alliances to govern.

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Climate: “Brazil ready to play the leading roles again”, says Lula