The international community has quickly acknowledged Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for his narrow victory over President Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil’s tightest presidential runoff ever. With 99.96 percent of the ballots counted, Lula obtained 50.9 percent of valid votes.
In July of this year, President Jair Bolsonaro hosted foreign ambassadors and displayed a presentation discrediting the Brazilian electoral system. Then, he urged foreign governments not to immediately recognize a Lula first-round victory. But the responses from across the globe grant legitimacy to the electoral process of one of the world’s largest democracies.
U.S. President Joe Biden issued a statement congratulating Lula on winning, “following free, fair, and credible elections.” The American president said he “looks forward to working together to continue the cooperation between our two countries in the months and years ahead.”
French President Emmanuel Macron, who once had personal quarrels with Mr. Bolsonaro, said “together, we will join forces to meet the many common challenges and renew the bond of friendship between our two countries.” According to Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, Brazil “decided to support progress and hope.”
“The people of Brazil have spoken,” tweeted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “I’m looking forward to working with Lula to strengthen the partnership between our countries, to deliver results for Canadians and Brazilians, and to advance shared priorities – like protecting the environment. Congratulations, Lula!”
The European Union issued a statement: “The EU congratulates Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as President-Elect and Geraldo José Rodrigues Alckmin Filho as the Vice President-elect on the victory.”
Most Latin American leaders were quick to congratulate Lula’s victory. “There will be equality and humanism,” said President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico. “Here you have a partner to work with and dream big about the good life of our people,” said Argentinian left-leaning leader Alberto Fernández.
Luis Almagro, the secretary general of the Organization of American States, congratulated “the Brazilian people for a great democratic journey in the elections.”
During his first speech as Brazil’s president-elect, Lula mentioned the necessity of re-establishing international ties in and outside Latin America. “No more [will Brazil be] a global pariah,” said Lula while addressing his supporters.
The speedy global recognition of Brazil’s results is important due to Mr. Bolsonaro’s persistent attempts to discredit the country’s electronic voting system. Under Bolsonaro, Brazil was constantly portrayed as an “international pariah.”