Jair Bolsonaro has reportedly conceded, two days after counts showed he lost the presidential election in Brazil to opponent Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Lula da Silva won the election by a narrow margin – 50.9 to 49.1 – with a difference of only 2.1 million votes. The election was being watched closely by the world. In Bolsonaro’s four years as president, he made Brazil an international icon of wasteful excess, deforestation, and environmental disasters. World leaders are being very open about their approval of the results.
“Congratulations,” tweeted new British prime minister Rishi Sunak to Lula da Silva on Tuesday. “I look forward to working together on the issues that matter to the UK and Brazil, from growing the global economy to protecting the planet’s natural resources and promoting democratic values.”
The same day, Bolsonaro, who had not yet formally acknowledged the election results, instead made a short public address calling the current road blockages and chaos of his supporters “the fruit of indignation and a feeling of injustice about how the electoral process played out.”
Supporters of Bolsonaro were calling for a military uprising to keep him in power, and took his words as a call to stay on the streets.
But today, he acknowledged to the Brazilian supreme court that he understood he has lost.
“The president used the verb ‘to end’ in the past tense,” said justice Edson Fachin to journalists. “He said: ‘It’s over.’ Therefore, [one must] look ahead.”
Current vice-president Hamilton Mourão also made it plain today that he accepts the defeat, adding that the protesters “need to calm down.”
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, now president-elect, represents Brazil’s leftwing Worker’s Party. He was president from 2003 to 2010, and illegally convicted of corruption in 2017 by a judge later awarded a high position in Bolsonaro’s cabinet. All cases against him were nullified by the supreme court last year.
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