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Lula wins election in Brazil; Bolsonaro men see 'fraud', may unleash violence

BRASILLIA (Brazil), Oct 31: The left-wing former President Lula da Silva has won the presidential election in Brazil, one of the tightest elections held in the country. He received 50.9% of the votes while his rightist opponent incumbent Jair Bolsonaro got 49.1% votes.

An ex-army officer, Bolsonaro, 67, is yet to concede and it is feared there may be violence like the US Capitol rampage. His supporters allege the vote was stolen and there was fraud, even as the elections were held while he has been in office, exactly like former US President Donald Trump. There is much in common between the two, whether it is the foolish handling of covid or the attitude towards democratic institutions and elections.

Brazilians were voting in the second round of a tightly contested election on Sunday. Lula’s Workers’ Party (PT) had won most votes in the first round on October 2, polling 48%, but needed to cross the majority mark of 50% to be declared the winner. Therefore this Sunday’s run-off race, which was also neck-and-neck, vertically dividing the 215 million people. However, Lula got more than 50% this time.

Lula, 77, had spent 18 months in jail over corruption charges. A two-time former President Lula could not contest the last presidential election in 2018 as he was in jail. He was banned from contesting in the election. Later his conviction was set aside. Lula was President from 2003 to 2010.

Bolsonaro's Liberal Party (PL) supporters say Lula is "a thief". But his opponents say Bolsonaro is always concerned about the rich and only Lula backs the poor. A conservative, Bolsonaro indulged in a propaganda that Lula will persecute the church.

However, Bolsonaro's supporters have won a majority in the Congress. Lula will therefore find it difficult to function.

US President Joe Biden congratulated Lula as the result followed "free, fair, and credible elections".

Brazil has a huge agricultural economy and is a leader in international trade. It is endowed with a literally and politically developed culture too.

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