World reacts as Lula wins Brazil presidential election

World leaders praise conduct of election after losing rival Jair Bolsonaro made baseless claims of electoral fraud.

Lula supporters in red shorts and with flags celebrate his victory in Brasilia, Brazil.
Supporters of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva celebrated as he edged ahead against incumbent Jair Bolsonaro [Diego Vara/Reuters]

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has won Brazil’s election by a whisker, defeating incumbent Jair Bolsonaro in a closely-fought second-round vote.

Brazil’s election authority said Lula, a former union leader who was previously president between 2003 and 2010, secured 50.8 percent of the vote in Sunday’s election compared with 49.2 percent for Bolsonaro.

The 77-year-old tweeted a photo of his hand touching the Brazilian flag with the word ‘democracy’ written above in celebration of his victory, marking a stunning comeback for a politician who was jailed on corruption charges that were overturned by the Supreme Court last year.

Lula’s inauguration will take place on January 1.

Politicians from around the world have begun to send messages of congratulations on social media and through official statements.

Here are some of them.

Argentina President Alberto Fernandez

“Congratulations @LulaOficial! Your victory opens a new era for the history of Latin America. A time of hope that begins today. Here you have a partner with whom you can work to create a better life for all our peoples.”

Chile President Gabriel Boric Font

“Lula. Joy!”

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador

“Lula won. The people of Brazil are blessed. There will be equality and humanity.”

Colombian President Gustavo Petro

“Long live Lula.”

Ecuador President Guillermo Lasso

“Congratulations to @LulaOficial for his election as president of Brazil. In democracy, we will continue to strengthen friendship and cooperation between our countries to ensure better days for our citizens.”

Bolivian President Luis Alberto Arce Catacora

“Congratulations brother @LulaOficial, elected president of Brazil.

Your victory strengthens democracy and Latin American integration. We are sure you will lead the Brazilian people along the path of peace, progress and social justice.”

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

“We celebrate the victory of the Brazilian people, who on 30Oct elected @LulaOficial as their new President. Long live the peoples determined to be free, sovereign and independent! Today in Brazil democracy triumphed. Congratulations Luna! A big hug!”

US President Joe Biden

“I send my congratulations to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on his election to be the next president of Brazil following free, fair, and credible elections. I look forward to working together to continue the cooperation between our two countries in the months and years ahead.”

Lula in an open top car driving along a road lined by supporters trying to take pictures
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva failed to win in the first round, setting the stage for a bitter fight in a run-off against far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro [Carl de Souza/AFP]

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

“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!”

French President Emmanuel Macron

“Congratulations @LulaOficial, on your election which opens a new page in the history of Brazil. Together we will join forces to address the many common challenges [we face] and renew the bond of friendship between our two countries.”

Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa

“I look forward to working together in the coming years with great enthusiasm, in favour of Portugal and Brazil but also around significant global issues.”

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez

“Congratulations @LulaOficial for your victory in elections in which Brazil has decided to back progress and hope.

Let’s work together for social justice, equality and to tackle climate change.”

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell Fontelles

“Brazilian citizens went to the polls to elect their new president in a peaceful and well-organised election.

Parabens @LulaOficial on your election!

I look forward to working together and advancing EU-Brazil relations with your government, and with new Congress & State authorities.”

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese

“Huge congratulations to @LulaOficial on a tremendous victory in the Brazilian elections. Look forward to working with you on protecting our global environment.”

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

“Congratulations to @LulaOficial on his victory in Brazil’s election. I look forward to working together on the issues that matter to the UK and Brazil, from growing the global economy to protecting the planet’s natural resources and promoting democratic values.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

“Congratulations to @LulaOficial on winning the Presidential elections in Brazil. I look forward to working closely together to further deepen and widen our bilateral relations, as also our cooperation on global issuesI look forward to working closely together to further deepen and widen our bilateral relations, as also our cooperation on global issues.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz

“Congratulations to @LulaOficial for your election! I look forward to close and credible cooperation with 🇧🇷 – in particular on trade and climate protection issues.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin

In a statement on the Kremlin website, Putin said he hoped for strengthened Brazil-Russia ties, and that the election result showed Lula’s “high political authority”.

“I hope that through joint efforts we will pursue the development of constructive Russo-Brazilian cooperation in all areas.”

China’s Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian

Lijian wished Lula and Brazil “new successes,” adding that the country was “willing to work with the new Brazilian government led by Lula to take the China-Brazil comprehensive strategic partnership to a new level, and better benefit the two countries and two peoples.”

Source: Al Jazeera