Lula wins first round of Brazilian presidential elections | Abroad

Former President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva (76) won the first round of Brazil’s presidential election. This is according to data from the National Election Commission. Since he did not get an absolute majority, a second round will follow at the end of this month.

The difference between Lula, who was already president between 2003 and 2011, and current president Jair Bolsonaro, 67, was much smaller than expected. With 99.82 percent of the polls counted, Lula of the center-left can count on 48.38 percent. The current far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, received 43.24 percent of the vote. As a result, a second round of voting is needed on October 30, the Brazilian electoral authority says.

“The battle will continue until the final victory,” Lula said after his victory. “We will win this election.” Meanwhile, the center-left presidential candidate promised to travel more across the country to meet with Brazilians. If Lula wins the second round, he will become the first democratically elected president of Brazil to serve three terms.

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Presidential candidate Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva addresses his supporters in Sao Paulo after the results of the first round were announced. © ANP / EPA

Lies from pollsters defeated

Far-right President Bolsonaro said after the first round that he had “beaten the lies (in polls, editor)”. Lula has been getting about 10 percentage points more than Bolsonaro in opinion polls for months, who has been optimistic about the second round. The question remains, however, whether Bolsonaro will accept a final defeat in the elections at the end of October.

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Brazilian President Bolsonaro during a press conference after the results of the first round.

Brazilian President Bolsonaro during a press conference after the results of the first round. © AFP

Previous statements by the right-wing populist president suggest that this is not happening. “If we had a fair election, I would win today with at least 60 percent of the vote,” he said, for example, on Sunday after casting his vote in the first round. He has repeatedly claimed without evidence that the Brazilian electoral system is vulnerable to fraud and that he does not trust the outcome.

The elections went smoothly

Nine other candidates ran for president in the first round of elections. The third candidate stands miles away from the two candidates with a margin of only 4.16% of the vote.

Election officials in the country say the elections took place largely peacefully on Sunday.

A Lula supporter is anxiously watching the results of the elections in São Paulo.

A Lula supporter is anxiously watching the results of the elections in São Paulo. © Getty Images

A Lula supporter watches the elections on a big screen in Rio de Janeiro.

A Lula supporter watches the elections on a big screen in Rio de Janeiro. © AFP

Supporters of incumbent President Bolsonaro cheer in Rio de Janeiro.

Supporters of incumbent President Bolsonaro cheer in Rio de Janeiro. © AFP

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Denton Watson

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