Lula da Silva: “As of January 1, 2023, I will govern for the 215 million Brazilians, not just for those who voted for me”

Lula’s speech after the victory against Bolsonaro

“This election placed two opposing projects of a country that today has only one winner: the Brazilian people. It is not a victory of the PT or mine, but of the immense democratic movement that put aside partisan and ideological interests for democracy,” he said. Lula da Silva in his first speech as president-elect of Brazil.

the leftist Luiz will return to power in Brazil for the third time after beating far-right Jair Bolsonaro in the ballotage by a very narrow margin, a reflection of an immense division in the South American giant. The 77-year-old icon of the Latin American left was imposed by 50.83% of the votes against 49.17% for the former army captain, 67 years old, with 98.8% scrutinized.

“I am here to govern this country in a very difficult situation, but with the help of the people we are going to find a way out so that the country can live democratically again,” said the leader of the Workers’ Party (PT) from a hotel in the Sao Paulo city.

And I add: “As of January 1, 2023, I will govern for 215 million Brazilians, and not only for those who have voted for me. There are not two countries. We are a Brazil, a people, a great nation.”

“No one is interested in living in a permanent state of war. This town is tired of seeing the other as an enemy. It’s time to go down to arms. Weapons kill and we choose life”, he stated.

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Today we tell the world that Brazil has returned. That Brazil is too big to be relegated to the sad role of pariah in the world. We will recover the credibility, predictability and stability of the country, so that investors can once again trust Brazil”, affirmed the president-elect. And he promised the reindustrialization of Brazil: “We will invest in the green and digital economy, we will support the creativity of our businessmen and entrepreneurs. We also want to export knowledge.”

Lula also stated that his government is willing to resume its leading role in the fight against the climate crisis, protecting all biomes, especially the Amazon rainforest. “Under our government, we were able to reduce deforestation in the Amazon by 80%. Now we are going to fight for zero deforestation.”

The new president recalled that last Wednesday, the Pope Francisco sent a message to Brazil, praying for the Brazilian people to be freed from hatred, intolerance and violence. “I want to say that we want the same, and we will work tirelessly for a Brazil where love prevails,” he said.

And he promised: “As far as we are concerned, there will be no lack of love. We will take great care of Brazil and the Brazilian people. We will live in a new era. Peace, love and hope. A time in which the Brazilian people will once again have the right to dream. And the opportunities to make their dreams come true.”

“Our most urgent commitment is to end hunger again,” he said in his first statement.

Brazil's former president and presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva speaks at an election night meeting on the day of the second round of the Brazilian presidential election, in Sao Paulo, Brazil October 30, 2022. REUTERS/Carla Carniel
Brazil’s former president and presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva speaks at an election night meeting on the day of the second round of the Brazilian presidential election, in Sao Paulo, Brazil October 30, 2022. REUTERS/Carla Carniel

“The challenge is immense, it is necessary to rebuild this country in all its dimensions. We need to rebuild the soul of this country, respect for differences and love for others, “he said in a statement that sought to reach out to everyone in an extremely polarized country.

The electoral evening was agonizing as both candidates stood side by side throughout the count. The difference in votes is 1.9 million in favor of Lula, for a total of 156 million voters.

Lula, who governed Brazil from 2003 to 2010, has the support of the poorest and those who resented Bolsonaro’s policies and outbursts, such as youth, women and minorities. He promised to “fix the country” still impacted by the pandemic crisis and its 688,000 deaths.

In his campaign, he highlighted his socioeconomic achievements, such as the escape from poverty of more than 30 million Brazilians thanks to social initiatives financed with the ‘boom’ of raw materials.

In this third period it will not have the same prosperity: although the economy shows signs of improvement, with growth, less inflation and more employment, it is far from the prosperity of the 2000s. Nor will it be easy in Congress, where the conservatives are the majority.

It may interest you: World leaders congratulated Lula on his victory in the Brazilian presidential elections

Lula returned to the political arena last year after his corruption convictions were overturned on procedural grounds. He had been imprisoned for 19 months, especially punctuated by the “Lava Jato” scandal over a bribery network in the state-owned Petrobras.

The campaign accentuated the polarization in the country, divided between a conservative movement and those with a progressive vision, in keeping with the social diversity of Brazil. “For us, Lula’s return is very important, he tried to demarcate our lands, he had projects,” shaman Saha da Silva, from the Sateré-Mawé indigenous group, who voted in his community of Iranduba, 80 km away, told AFP. from Manaus, capital of the Amazon.

Bolsonaro, a former army captain, sought re-election defending traditional values ​​and the recent improvement in economic data – slowing inflation and falling unemployment – while continuing to breathe a nationalist discourse.

A message especially appreciated by agribusiness and the evangelical population, which represents a third of the electorate and continues to expand throughout the country.

The new president of Brazil will assume the reins of the country on January 1.


Keep reading:

Lula, the “phoenix” of the Brazilian left who, despite corruption scandals, regained power
Tarcísio Gomes de Freitas, Jair Bolsonaro’s candidate, was elected governor of São Paulo

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