Brazil president-elect Lula urges ‘peace and unity’ after vote

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President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called for “peace and unity” in bitterly divided Brazil, saying the country was no longer an international pariah, and highlighting the need for a “living Amazon”.

In his victory speech, Lula reached out to supporters and rivals alike, highlighting the need for “a Brazil of peace, democracy, and opportunity.” He touched on gender and racial equality and the urgent need to deal with a hunger crisis affecting 33.1 million Brazilians. “The wheel of the economy will turn again,” he promised.

Da Silva won with 50.90 percent to far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro’s 49.10 percent, a snapshot of how polarized the country has become after a dirty election campaign. “It is in no one’s interest to live in a divided nation in a permanent state of war,” the 77-year-old leftist said, vowing 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 signaled that Brazil was ready to take its place again on the international stage, after Bolsonaro aligned himself with former US president Donald Trump and took frequent aim at traditional allies.—INP

 

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