There is hope that the rising toxic tide of global fascism is slowing/weakening.
Brazil Elects Lula, a Leftist Former Leader, in a Rebuke of Bolsonaro
Lula beats President Bolsonaro to win Brazil election
Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, has fallen silent after his chastening election defeat to his leftist rival Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
A stream of world leaders have stepped forward to recognize Lula’s stunning political comeback, including the US president, Joe Biden, the UK prime minister, Rishi Sunak, the Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, and China’s Communist party chief, Xi Jinping.
But Bolsonaro – a pro-dictatorship radical who has repeatedly hinted he might not accept defeat – has yet to concede.
His last message on Twitter – an excerpt from the book of Ephesians – was posted at two minutes before midnight on the eve of an election he went on to lose by a margin of more than 2m votes.
With 100% of votes counted, Lula secured 50.9% to Bolsonaro’s 49.10%. Lula received 60.3m votes while the rightwing incumbent had 58.2m.
The defeat makes Bolsonaro the first serving president in Brazilian history to be voted out of office. Lula will take over on 1 January 2023.
While Bolsonaro remained mute, key allies did accept the result in a sign that the populist’s power was rapidly ebbing away after four tumultuous years in office.
Silas Malafaia, a prominent televangelist who was one of Bolsonaro’s most vocal cheerleaders, tweeted: “The sovereign will of the people has established itself.”
Malafaia tweeted a quote from the British writer CS Lewis as his candidate’s defeat sunk in: “It is not your business to succeed, but to do right. When you have done so the rest lies with God.”
The newly elected pro-Bolsonaro governor of São Paulo, Tarcísio de Freitas, also recognized Lula’s win, telling journalists: “The election result is sovereign.”
Another key ally, the lower house leader Arthur Lira, said: “The will of the majority, expressed at the polls, should never be challenged.”
Even Sergio Moro, the pro-Bolsonaro judge who controversially jailed Lula in the lead-up to the 2018 election before taking a job in Bolsonaro’s cabinet, recognized the leftist’s victory.
“Thus is democracy,” Moro tweeted.
Ricardo Salles, Bolsonaro’s former environment minister, tweeted: “The result of the most polarized election in Brazil’s history prompts many reflections and the need to seek ways to pacify a country that is literally split in half. Now is the time for serenity.”
But Bolsonaro and his three politician sons remained tight-lipped on Monday morning. The news website UOL said he was “holed up” in the presidential residence in Brasília.
Some observers have voiced concern that Bolsonaro may follow in the footsteps of his US ally Donald Trump and refuse to accept defeat in a bid to keep his political movement alive.
The political commentator Bernardo Mello Franco tweeted: “One by one, Bolsonaristas recognize Lula’s victory. This leaves the president without the political support to attempt any kind of coup-style adventure.”