Lula won, but now what?

The results from Brazil show a deeply divided nation.  The map was reminiscent of that Bush-Kerry map from 2004 where one region voted one way and the other the other way.  This is from NPR:

In just three years, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has gone from prisoner to president-elect.

After being jailed on corruption charges, the left-wing da Silva engineered a stunning political resurrection on Sunday by winning Brazil's presidential runoff election — in a nail-biter — over right-wing incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro.

With nearly all the ballots counted, official returns gave da Silva, who is a former two-term president, 50.8% of the vote compared to 49.2% for Bolsonaro. Da Silva will be sworn-in for a four-year term on Jan. 1.

On Sunday night, I spoke with a friend in São Paulo, and he confirmed just how divided the nation is.  He accepts the results but wonders what President-Elect Lula is going to do next.  He won, but he has no mandate, and the regional divide is astonishing.  Bolsonaro won the states of Rio de Janeiro and São Paolo, or the two financial centers.

As expected from a candidate of the left, Lula promised to increase the minimum wage and jump-start the economy.  Well, I wonder how he is going to do that!  The economy was hurt by the COVID pandemic.  Of course, Lula pledged to protect the Amazon rainforest, but no one is sure of how he will keep that promise and jump-start the economy at the same time.

I would have voted for Bolsonaro, but I admit that his personality was often his biggest enemy.  At the same time, maybe Brazilians will miss his personality when Lula starts governing.

We wish Brazilians the best, but it will be rough down there, as it is in most other Latin American countries, especially with the slowdown of the U.S. economy.

One hundred twenty million people voted in Brazil, and they had a winner by 7 P.M. Central.  Is there a lesson there for us?

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Image: World Economic Forum/Swiss Image, ch. 

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