U.S., world leaders react to Lula’s win in Brazil’s presidential elections
The former two-term president won a tight race against incumbent and right-wing leader Jair Bolsonaro.
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Brazil's most tightly contested and divisive elections in recent history came to an end on Sunday, Oct. 30, after months of back and forth and a second round.
Former two-term president and formerly imprisoned leader, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva capped off an incredible political comeback and ousted the right-wing and incumbent leader, Jair Bolsonaro after serving only one term, 50.9% to 49.1% in the runoff election.
In a Presidential election that has been widely compared to that of the U.S. 's 2020 election between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, Bolsonaro took a page out of Trump’s playbook and has not officially conceded the loss since Sunday night’s results were revealed.
“I want to congratulate the people who voted for me because I consider myself a citizen who had a process of resurrection in Brazilian politics because they tried to bury me alive and I’m here,” Lula said in a speech to reporters and supporters.
Over 60 million voters in Latin America’s biggest country voted out the incumbent leader after a very divisive last four years. Lula will now take on his third term in office and has inherited not only one of the world’s biggest economies, but a politically divisive and economically torn country in hopes of bringing it back to its former glory.
A win for Lula means another leftist leader in Latin America as he now joins one of several leftist Presidents in the region such as Colombia’s Gustavo Petro, Chile’s Gabriel Boric, Peru’s Pedro Castillo, and Mexico’s Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who was one of the first leftist leaders to be elected in the Americas that kickstarted the move left.
On Sunday night, President Joe Biden among other U.S. leaders were quick to congratulate Lula on a tight win and expressed excitement over the partnership that is to come between the two countries.
Biden knows very well what it is like to win a tight Presidential race and was one of the first world leaders to react to the news on Sunday night.
“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,” said Biden. “I look forward to working together to continue the cooperation between our two countries in the months and years ahead.”
U.S. Representative for New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also showed excitement and happiness for the new Brazilian leader in two different tweets. In one, she simply tweeted “LULA” with the party popper emoji. In another, she quoted a tweet from Colombia’s Vice President Francia Márquez Mina and tweeted out hearts in Brazil’s colors.
U.S Secretary of State Anthony Blinken also congratulated Lula in a tweet and offered a message of Brazil “reaffirming the strength of their democracy.
“We look forward to continuing our strong partnership with President-Elect @LulaOficial as we build a democratic, prosperous,and equitable hemisphere,” wrote Blinken.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders sent a tweet in the same vein as others.
“The people of Brazil have voted for democracy, workers’ rights and environmental sanity. I congratulate @LulaOficial on his hard fought victory and look forward to a strong and prosperous relationship between the United States and Brazil,” Sanders wrote.
A number of world leaders have also sent their congratulations, such as Chinese President Xi Jinping, President of Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, and others. Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador tweeted: "Lula won, blessed people of Brazil. There will be equality and humanism."
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau 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!”
Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez said Lula's win "opens a new era for the history of Latin America. A time of hope and future that begins today."
Even Russian President Vladimir Putin offered remarks after he claims to have good relations with both Brazilian leaders.
"Please accept my sincere congratulations... the election results have confirmed your impressive political authority," Putin said. "I hope that through joint efforts we will pursue the development of constructive Russo-Brazilian cooperation in all areas."
Lula will be inaugurated on New Years, Jan. 1.