Lula wins Brazil election, Bolsonaro hasn't conceded yet

SAO PAULO/BRASILIA, Oct 31 - Brazil's left-wing leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva narrowly defeated President Jair Bolsonaro in the second round of elections, but the right-wing incumbent did not concede defeat on Sunday night, raising fears that he might challenge the result. . .

The Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) declared Lula the next president, with 50.9% of the vote against 49.1% for Bolsonaro. The inauguration of 77-year-old Lula is scheduled for January 1.

So far, Bolsonaro hasn't called me to concede my win, and I don't know if he will call or if he will admit my victory," Lula told tens of thousands of cheering supporters celebrating his win at Paulista Ave in Sao Paulo.

A source in Bolsonaro's campaign told Reuters the president would not make a public statement until Monday. Bolsonaro's campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Bolsonaro last year publicly discussed his refusal to accept the results of the vote, making baseless claims that Brazil's electronic voting system is vulnerable to fraud.

One of Bolsonaro's close allies, lawmaker Carla Zambelli, in a clear nod to the results, wrote on Twitter, "I PROMISE you, I will be the biggest opposition Lula could ever imagine."

Financial markets may be in for a turbulent week, with investors gauging speculation about Lula's cabinet and the risk of Bolsonaro questioning the results.

The vote was a rebuke to Bolsonaro's fiery right-wing populism, which emerged from the back seat of Congress to form a new conservative coalition but lost support as Brazil suffered one of the worst deaths from the coronavirus pandemic.

US President Joe Biden congratulated Lula on winning a "free, fair and credible election," joining a chorus of praise from European and Latin American leaders.

International election observers say Sunday's election was conducted efficiently. One observer told Reuters that military auditors found no flaws in the integrity tests they carried out on the voting system.

Truck drivers believed to be Bolsonaro supporters on Sunday blocked highways in four places in Mato Grosso state, a major grain producer, according to highway operators.

In a video circulating online, a man says truck drivers plan to block the country's main highway, calling for a military coup to prevent Lula from taking office.

PINK UP

Lula's victory consolidated a new "pink tide" in Latin America, following the left's landmark victories in the Colombian and Chilean elections, echoing regional political changes two decades ago that introduced Lula to the world stage.

He has vowed to return to the state-driven economic growth and social policies that helped lift millions out of poverty during his two terms as president from 2003 to 2010. He has also pledged to fight the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, which is now at its peak in 15 years. , and making Brazil a leader in global climate talks.

"This is four years of hatred, denial of science," Ana Valeria Doria, 60, a doctor in Rio de Janeiro, celebrated with a drink. "It won't be easy for Lula to manage the divisions in this country. But for now, it's pure happiness." A former union leader born into poverty, Lula organized strikes against Brazil's military government in the 1970s. His two presidential terms were marked by a commodity-driven economic boom and he left office with record popularity.

However, his Labor Party was then hit by a deep recession and a record-breaking corruption scandal that jailed him for 19 months on bribery charges, which the Supreme Court overturned last year.

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