Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva wins 48% of the votes in Brazil’s presidential election held yesterday, ahead of the 43% for incumbent Jair Bolsonaro. Since Lula did not get 50%, that means there will be a run-off election between just the two of them on October 30th.
The results are a a disappointment for Lula’s supporters who had hoped that he might be able to avoid the run-off vote, although the polls showed that it was always unlikely. Bolsonaro got more votes than expected. So now we head to the run-off on October 30th.
But there were other encouraging signs in the results for other offices.
Brazil’s election result was a disappointment for those hoping to see a first-round win for the presidential challenger Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva but there were still some reasons to be cheerful for the country’s left.
Not only is Lula favourite to win the 30 October runoff – he need only increase his vote share from 48.4% to 50+1 – but diversity got a boost in a few key parliamentary races.
Two trans candidates were elected to congress for the first time in history, two Indigenous women joined them, and several of the allies who helped get Jair Bolsonaro elected four years ago were given the cold shoulder by voters.
Two of the biggest winners were the transgender candidates Erika Hilton and Duda Salabert. Both won easy election to the chamber of deputies where they promised to fight for LGBT rights.
Another new contingent in the lower house came with the election of Sônia Guajajara, who was chosen as one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People earlier this year, and Célia Xakriabá, both of whom stood under the banner of the progressive PSOL party.
Their election will provide a much-needed voice for Brazil’s long-suffering Indigenous communities.
Far-right president Jair Bolsonaro has vowed not to cede an inch to native peoples – a promise he repeated on Sunday night – and illegal invasions by loggers, ranchers, miners and hunters into Indigenous land has increased dramatically under his presidency.
In the small mercies department, the left celebrated defeats for Janaina Paschoal, one of the lawyers whose brief led to the impeachment of former Workers’ party president Dilma Rousseff; Fabricio Queiroz, the former police officer and close friend of the Bolsonaro family who stands accused of helping the clan enrich themselves; and Douglas Garcia, a state deputy with Bolsonaro’s party whose harassment of a well-known female TV journalist hit the headlines last month.
The article goes on to describe other notable victories.