Luiz ‘Lula’ da Silva, former Brazilian president, has defeated Jair Bolsonaro, the incumbent leader, in the country’s presidential elections.
In the fiercely contested election, Lula as he is popularly known, raked in 50.9 percent of the votes compared to 49.1 percent for Bolsonaro, shifting Brazil’s political landscape from the right wing to the left wing.
Lula was announced the winner on Sunday, October 30. The result is more spectacular given that he was jailed and banned from running for office in 2018 after he was found guilty of receiving a bribe from a Brazilian construction firm for contracts with the country’s oil company.
Da Silva spent 580 days in jail before his conviction was annulled and he returned to the political fray.
“They tried to bury me alive and here I am,” he said in his victory speech.
World leaders have taken to social media to congratulate the 77-year-old politician.
“I send my congratulations to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on his election to be the next president of Brazil following free, fair, and credible elections,” US President Joe Biden said.
“I look forward to working together to continue the cooperation between our two countries in the months and years ahead.”
Justin Trudeau, Canadian prime minister tweeted:
“The people of Brazil have spoken. I’m looking forward to working with @LulaOficial to strengthen the partnership between our countries, to deliver results for Canadians and Brazilians, and to advance shared priorities – like protecting the environment. Congratulations, Lula!”
Bolsonaro is yet to concede defeat or make any public statement following the announcement of the results.