Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, 77, is the new president of Brazil. The leader of the left beat Jair Bolsonaro with 50.90% of the vote. “They tried to bury me, but I am risen”
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva became president of Brazil for the third time, beating Jair Bolsonaro, the right-wing candidate currently in office, in the ballot. The former trade unionist obtained 50.90% of the votes against Bolsonaro’s 49.10%, who however does not recognize the challenger’s victory.
Lula, however, was already openly ahead from the first shift, where he had obtained 48.4% of the votes. Bolsonaro, on the other hand, had won 43.3% of the preferences. According to polls conducted the week before the elections, Lula should have won by a margin of 53% against 47% of the right-wing leader.
“Today the Brazilian people won – underlined the former trade unionist immediately after the victory -. It is not a victory of mine or of the party, but of an immense democratic movement. They tried to bury me alive but I had a resurrection process. in Brazilian politics. I am here to govern the country in a difficult moment but we will find the answers. Brazil is ready to fight against the climate crisis and zero deforestation in the Amazon “. Then he added: “The majority of the people have made it clear that they want more democracy and not less. They want more freedom, more equality and more fraternity”.
The first years of a political career in the union
Lula, a candidate of the Workers’ Party, was born in 1945 in the rural Brazilian state of Pernambuco. At the age of 7, he moved with his poor and illiterate family to Santos, in the State of São Paulo. Lula then dropped out of school after fourth grade to work as a shoe shine. At the age of 14, he found his first regular job in a copper factory and was able to continue his studies to obtain a diploma equivalent to high school. At 19 he lost the little finger of his left hand while he was working the factory and that was when he started his trade union activity. His commitment to the workers then led him to the elections that made him president from 2003 to 2011.
The founding of the Workers’ Party
The Workers’ Party was born in 1980 to gather different cultural sensitivities, from Christians to Communists. The Party did not adhere to any International and in its first multi-party elections it obtained 3.5% of the votes. In 1986, with the first real free elections, it doubled its approval to 6.9%. That year, Lula won a seat in the Brazilian Congress.
Thanks to his commitment to the steel workers ‘union (of which he was elected president in 1978), in fact, the new leader of Brazil allowed the then nascent Workers’ Party to obtain a sufficient percentage on the first shift to guarantee its survival and growth. Despite the defeat, in fact, the 1982 elections allowed the Workers’ Party to double its percentages just four years later.
The two terms of President in 2002 and 2006
In 2002, Lula became the presidential candidate against center leader José Serra of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party. The former trade unionist won the elections with 61% of the votes: he obtained 52.4 million votes, which is the highest number in the democratic history of Brazil. On 29 October 2006 he was re-elected president with over 60% of the votes in the ballot. Lula defeated PSDB candidate Geraldo Ackim.
Social programs have always been at the heart of his political agenda. The former trade unionist, in fact, immediately carried out a project to eradicate hunger from the country, following the example of initiatives already put into practice by Fernando Henrique Cardoso. Lula expanded these programs with “Fome Zero”, an initiative that involved the construction of water tanks in the semi-arid region of Sertão, actions to combat teenage pregnancies and strengthen family farming by distributing a minimum amount of money to poor.
Another great social program was “Bolsa Familia”, based on the previous “Bolsa Escola” program to combat early school leaving. Bolsa Familia also included quotas for food and cooking gas and was preceded by the creation of the new Ministry for Social Development and the Fight against Hunger. The merger significantly reduced administrative costs and bureaucratic time for the families involved. The program was praised internationally despite some criticism from within the country.
The corruption investigations and the sentencing canceled
The Workers’ Party candidate has returned to politics after serving a 19-month prison sentence due to some false corruption charges. In 2016, in fact, he was involved in the Operação Lava Jato (Operation Car Wash) and was accused of having received money and favors from companies. On March 4 of the same year he was arrested and interrogated for three hours on charges of corruption.
The former trade unionist rejected the accusations, but after a year he was convicted of having received, according to the judiciary, bribes worth 3.7 million reais. In the first instance he was sentenced to nine and a half years in prison, but remained free pending appeal.
The former trade unionist rejected the accusations, but after a year he was convicted of having received, according to the judiciary, bribes worth 3.7 million reais. In the first instance he was sentenced to him to nine and a half years in prison, but remained free pending appeal.
In the second instance, however, the sentence was increased to 12 years and the Supreme Court rejected his appeal against the provisional enforceability of the sentence. On April 7, 2018, after giving a speech in front of the ABC Metallurgical Workers’ Union in São Bernardo do Campo, Lula spontaneously surrendered to the Federal Police.
In November 2019 the Federal Supreme Court decided to release him pending the final sentence after 580 days of detention while in 2021 he was acquitted of all charges, thus returning eligible and reacquiring his political rights.
The program of Lula, the new President of Brazil
The new president’s program includes 13 thematic axes, including economic development with investment, ecological transition, the re-industrialization of Brazil and sustainable agriculture. In fact, shortly after winning the elections, Lula stressed that he was ready to fight the “deforestation of the Amazon” and climate change. “Having a green lung alive and intact in Brazil is worth much more than a little illegally cut wood”