Brazilian President Lula da Silva takes office for the 3rd time : NPR
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was sworn in as Brazil’s president on Sunday in the capital Brasilia to take office for the third time.
The leftist narrowly beat far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro in October’s runoff election, marking a stunning political comeback – just three years after da Silva was freed on corruption charges and 12 years after his first two terms in office. as president.
Da Silva promised a return to “normality”, ushering in major political change in a highly polarized country. The 77-year-old beat Bolsonaro in the October 30 vote by less than 2%. Bolsonaro, a 67-year-old populist in the mold of former President Donald Trump, has never conceded defeat and has spread doubts about the legitimacy of the election in Brazil.
Since then, Bolsonaro supporters have defiantly camped outside army barracks across the country, calling on the armed forces to intervene and cancel the elections. On Christmas Eve, a Bolsonaro supporter was arrested in an alleged attempted bombing.
Bolsonaro himself left the country on Friday for Florida and it is unclear when he will return to Brazil. The incoming administration played down fears of a January 6-style insurgency in the country.
Still, security was tight in the capital on the day of the inauguration, as da Silva officials staged a spectacle – a celebration they dubbed “Lulapalooza” – drawing hundreds of thousands of people for the ceremony, which included a concert with some of the country’s greatest artists.
Da Silva, a former union boss known as a pragmatic negotiator, faces an uphill battle ahead of a new four-year term, particularly with Bolsonaro’s party which has secured majority control of both chambers in Congress.