Brazil prez polls: No signs of Bolsonaro conceding defeat as Lula celebrates spectacular win

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Brazil’s bitterly fought presidential run-off came to the conclusion on Sunday with the victory of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva who managed to narrowly defeat incumbent Jair Bolsonaro.

Lula, 77, secured 50.90 per cent of votes compared to far-right Bolsonaro’s 49.10 per cent, in one of the most polarised election campaigns the country has ever witnessed.

In his victory speech, Lula reached out to supporters and opponents alike, calling for Brazil’s “peace, democracy, and opportunity”, reports AFP news agency.

Watch | Brazil Presidential Polls: Lula da Silva wins elections again at the age of 77 with 50.90% of votes

He promised to restore the kind of prosperity the country enjoyed when he last served as president from 2003-2010.

Lula then spoke of gender and racial equality and highlighted the urgent need to deal with a hunger crisis affecting 33.1 million Brazilians.

“The wheel of the economy will turn again,” he assured.

The 77-year-old Leftist leader called for unity in a “divided nation”, saying, “It is in no one’s interest to live in a divided nation in a permanent state of war”.

He assured to serve all 215 million Brazilians and “not only those who voted for “him.

“This country needs peace and unity. This population doesn’t want to fight anymore,” he was quoted as saying.

Da Silva vowed to take Brazil to its rightful place on the global stage, saying, “Today, we tell the world that Brazil is back. It is too big to be banished to this sad role of global pariah.”

Also read | Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva: The new president of Brazil with a chequered past

However, in the midst of his spectacular electoral glory, Da Silva informed that he was yet to receive a congratulatory message from his rival Bolsonaro.

“So far, Bolsonaro has not called me to recognize my victory, and I don’t know if he will call or if he will recognize my victory,” Lula told tens of thousands of jubilant supporters.

Also read | Bolsonaro becomes first sitting president in Brazil to lose re-election bid

Experts fear that Bolsonaro may refuse to accept defeat, similar to what happened in the US where Donal Trump called the election results a fraud.

Reuters news agency, quoting a source from Bolsonaro’s campaign, reported that the incumbent leader would wait until Monday to make an official statement on the election results.

Last year, the right-wing leader discussed refusing to accept the results of the vote, making baseless claims that Brazil’s electronic voting system was vulnerable to fraud.

(With inputs from agencies)

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