According to the Brazilian electoral commission, the leftist Worker’s Party candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva defeated incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro.
With 98.8% of the votes counted, da Silva had 50.8% of the vote, and Bolsonaro had 49.2%, making da Silva’s victory a foregone conclusion, according to the election authorities.
Former president Da Silva, who served in that position from 2003 to 2010, has pledged to revive the nation’s more wealthy past, but he must contend with a divided population.
It is a spectacular comeback to power for 77-year-old da Silva, whose exclusion from the 2018 race due to incarceration stemming from a corruption investigation allowed Bolsonaro to win and enjoy four years of far-right politics.
Da Silva, a former union organizer who has been a democratic socialist politician for many years, served as president of Brazil from 2003 to 2010, during which time he implemented ambitious social initiatives and prioritized foreign policy.
But scandal marred his presidency.
Despite his denials, he was sentenced to prison in 2017 after being found guilty of corruption and money laundering.
Da Silva also attempted to pass a press law that would have altered how journalists were governed and that some people felt would mark the beginning of a creeping return to the dictatorial era.
Additionally, he supported autocratic governments in Syria, Libya, Cuba, Venezuela, and several African countries.
The governments of da Silva and his political goddaughter Dilma Rousseff, who replaced him as president but was ultimately deposed for tampering with the budget, encountered ongoing problems and issues about Israel, resulting in a dispute with the local Jewish population.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a well-known Holocaust denier whose government repressed opponents, visited da Silva in 2009 and was warmly greeted, drawing anger from worldwide.
Da Silva declined to go to Theodor Herzl’s grave, which was on the itinerary for visiting foreign dignitaries in honor of the father of Zionism’s 150th birthday, during his first official visit to Israel in 2010.
He placed a wreath on Yasser Arafat’s grave in Ramallah a few days later.
His administration’s final month saw his country officially recognize Palestine as a state.
Under Rousseff, the Palestinian government opened its first embassy in the Western Hemisphere in Brazil.
In 2015, her government stoked a diplomatic row with Israel by vetoing Jerusalem’s pick for the ambassador to Brasilia.
Some claim she did it in retaliation for a top Israeli diplomat calling her a “diplomatic dwarf” the previous year when the South American country had recalled its ambassador from Tel Aviv in protest of Israel’s attack on Hamas during the summer’s Gaza War.