SAO PAULO (AP) — Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has done it again: Twenty years after first winning the Brazilian presidency, the leftist defeated incumbent Jair Bolsonaro Sunday in an extremely tight election that marks an about-face for the country after four years of far-right politics.
With 99.9% of the votes tallied in the runoff vote, da Silva had 50.9% and Bolsonaro 49.1%, and the election authority said da Silva’s victory was a mathematical certainty. At about 10 p.m. local time, three hours after the results were in, the lights went out in the presidential palace and Bolsonaro had not conceded nor reacted in any way.
Before the vote, Bolsonaro’s campaign had made repeated — unproven — claims of possible electoral manipulation, raising fears that he would not accept defeat and would challenge the results if he lost.
The high-stakes election was a stunning reversal for da Silva, 77, whose imprisonment for corruption sidelined him from the 2018 election that brought Bolsonaro, a defender of conservative social values, to power.