Highlights

  • Lula wins Brazil Presidential elections after 20 years
  • Defeats incumbent Bolsonaro in an 'extremely' tight election
  • Da Silva had 50.9 per cent votes out of total

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Brazil presidential polls 2022: Lula defeats incumbent Bolsonaro in an 'extremely' tight election

The election authority said da Silva's victory was a mathematical certainty.

Twenty years after first winning the Brazilian presidency, the leftist defeated incumbent Jair Bolsonaro Sunday in an extremely tight election that marks an about-face for the country after four years of far-right politics.

With more than 99 per cent of the votes tallied in the runoff vote, da Silva had 50.9 per cent and Bolsonaro 49.1 per cent, and the election authority said da Silva's victory was a mathematical certainty.

It is a stunning reversal for da Silva, 77, whose 2018 imprisonment over a corruption scandal sidelined him from the 2018 election that brought Bolsonaro, a defender of conservative social values, to power.

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“Today the only winner is the Brazilian people," da Silva said in a speech at a hotel in downtown Sao Paulo. “This isn't a victory of mine or the Workers' Party, nor the parties that supported me in campaign. It's the victory of a democratic movement that formed above political parties, personal interests and ideologies so that democracy came out victorious.”

Da Silva is promising to govern beyond his leftist Workers's Party. He wants to bring in centrists and even some leaning to the right who voted for him for the first time, and to restore the country's more prosperous past.

Yet he faces headwinds in a politically polarised society where economic growth is slowing and inflation is soaring.

His victory marks the first time since Brazil's 1985 return to democracy that the sitting president has failed to win reelection. The highly polarised election in Latin America's biggest economy extended a wave of recent leftist victories in the region, including Chile, Colombia and Argentina.

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