Right-wing incumbent Jair Bolsonaro has lost Brazil’s presidential election to Luiz Inácio da Silva, a left-wing candidate known as Lula. Protests broke out in the streets as Lula won by a margin of less than one percent. Many world leaders including US President Joe Biden have called to congratulate Lula but Bolsonaro has yet to make the traditional phone call congratulating his victorious opponent.
With all the votes counted, Lula had 50.9% of the valid votes against Bolsonaro’s 49.1%. He is scheduled to be sworn in on January 1.
Truck drivers loyal to Mr Bolsonaro have blocked roads in at least 13 states. On Monday, Supreme Court judge Alexandre de Moraes ordered the police to disperse the roadblocks immediately, threatening heavy fines for protesters who persisted.
Lula was president of Brazil from 2003-2010 but was unable to run in the last elections as he was convicted of money laundering and corruption and sentenced to a nine and a half year sentence after being. After an unsuccessful appeal, he served 580 days in jail. The conviction was later annulled, allowing Lula to run in the 2022 election.
Bolsonaro was close to former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and developed close ties with Israel.
Lula is a vocal about his support for the Palestinians. In the final month of his previous term as president, his government officially recognized Palestine as a state. In a serious breach of protocol during a 2010 visit to Israel, Lula refused to attend the official ceremony honoring Theodore Herzl’s 150th birthday.. He chose instead to wear a keffiyeh and visit the grave of Yasser Arafat in Ramallah.