Lula beats Bolsonaro in Brazil’s run-off election

In a close election, Lula defeated the right-wing extremist Trump ally by a margin of 50.8% to 49.1% with 99% of the votes counted.

Ecstatic and tearful supporters of Lula – who secured more than 59m votes to Bolsonaro’s 57m – hugged and threw cans of beer in the air.

“This means we are going to have someone in power who cares about those at the bottom. Right now we have a person who doesn’t care about the majority, about us, about LGBT people,” Soares said. “Bolsonaro … is a bad person. He doesn’t show a drop of empathy or solidarity for others. There is no way he can continue as president.”

There was celebration around the region too as leftist allies tweeted their congratulations. “Viva Lula,” said Colombia’s leader, Gustavo Petro.

Argentina’s president Alberto Fernández celebrated “a new era in Latin American history”. “An era of hope and of a future that starts right now.”

Mexico’s president Andrés Manuel López Obrador commemorated what he called a victory for “equality and humanism.”.

There is no word as yet if Bolsonaro has accepted the result and conceded. Like Trump, he had been warning that he might not accept a loss because the election was ‘stolen’. Some of his followers are indeed making that claim in ways that should sound familiar to us in the US.

Outside Bolsonaro’s home in west Rio there was dejection and anger as the news sunk in. “I’m angry,” said Monique Almeido, a 36-year-old beautician. “I don’t even know what to say.”

João Reis, a 50-year-old electrician, said he was convinced the vote had been rigged.

“It’s fraud without a doubt, they manipulated the count. The Armed Forces must intervene,” demanded

And if they didn’t? “The population must take to the streets to demand military intervention so that we don’t hand power over to the communists.”

Things are going to be quite tense in the days to come.


  1. Matt G says

    “It’s fraud without a doubt.” Sigh. “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people are so full of doubts.” -Bertrand Russell

  2. birgerjohansson says

    @ 1
    Bolsonaro is a more vulgar version of the tory scum, or a less vulgar version of the MAGA crowd.

  3. says

    With it this close, with that much anger and denial on the right, and with the history of left leaning election winners in South America, this probably hinges on what the US decides to do about it, or even just the CIA.

  4. says

    The Armed Forces must intervene

    Apparently there were uniformed military at some polling places, letting only Bolsonaro voters through. The military already intervened.

  5. says

    This looks like a close call, but given the degree of voter-suppression enacted by the Bolsonaro camp, it’s a pretty safe bet that Lula was much more popular than the vote tallies show.

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