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In case you’re joining us, former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (known as Lula) of the left-wing Workers’ Party got the most votes in Sunday’s presidential election in Brazil, but not enough to avoid a runoff against him – right-wing rival, incumbent Jair Bolsonaro.
With more than 98% of the votes counted, Lula had 48% of the vote – less than the just over 50% required for an overall win.
Brazil’s electoral authority has confirmed that Brazilians will participate in runoff elections on October 30.
From Jake Spring, Reuters Global Climate Correspondent:
Brazil’s former Environment Minister Ricardo Salles@rsallesmawill return to Brasilia as he is certain to be elected a federal congressman. He presided over the huge increase in deforestation in the Amazon. pic.twitter.com/KHnLO2cYHA
— Jake Spring (@jakespring) October 2, 2022
From the Guardian’s Latin America correspondent Tom Phillips:
How a Bolsonaro activist in northeastern Brazil describes the findings to his supporters. “We have so much to celebrate,” he writes pic.twitter.com/UHmLBRVaUy
— Tom Phillips (@tomphillipsin) October 2, 2022
Thiago Amparo, academic and columnist for the Folha de São Paulo newspaper, said the stronger-than-expected outcry from the right shows that Bolsonaro and Bolsonarismo are “alive and alive”.
“There was a feeling on the left that Lula had a chance to win in the first round… The results show that it was wishful thinking to imagine that the election would serve to punish Bolsonaro for his disastrous policies during the pandemic . ”
“I feel exhausted,” Amparo added. “But the results show that we don’t have time to rest now. It’s time to take to the streets…or else we’re going to have a very dark future again.”
More on today’s result:
“I think Bolsonaro has the momentum,” said Thomas Traumann, a political observer from Rio de Janeiro, although he believed Lula was still the favourite. “It’s a very disappointing night for the left.”
Bolsonaro is also accused of devastating the environment and disastrously mishandling a Covid epidemic that has killed nearly 700,000 Brazilians by undermining vaccination and containment efforts and selling quack cures.
“It was a hoax tragedy,” restaurant host Gabriela Leoncio said of Bolsonaro’s government as she cast her vote for Lula in São Paulo on Sunday morning.
Even so, Bolsonaro refuted forecasts by pollsters in several key states, including Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.
Prominent Bolsonaristas have been elected to Brazil’s Congress and as governors, including Bolsonaro’s former health minister, Eduardo Pazzuelo, who became the congressman for Rio, and his former environment minister, Ricardo Salles. Rio’s Bolsonaro-supporting governor Cláudio Castro was reelected, while one of Bolsonaro’s most controversial former ministers, evangelical preacher Damares Alves, claimed a seat in the Senate. Tarcísio de Freitas, Bolsonaro’s nominee for São Paulo’s governorship, also did better than pollsters predicted, facing Lula ally Fernando Haddad in a second round.
There was resistance from Lula and his allies as the right-wing achievements and the need for a second round became clear.
Lula wins the vote, but not an outright win
Brazil’s bitter presidential race enters a second round after former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva failed to secure the overall majority he needed to avoid a runoff with far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro.
With 97% of the votes counted, the left veteran had garnered 47.88% of the vote, not enough to avoid an Oct. 30 showdown with his right-wing rival. Bolsonaro, who easily beat pollsters’ predictions and will be buoyed by the result, received 43.68%.
On the eve of the election, Lula said he hoped for a first-round victory but would redouble his efforts to regain power if a second round was required.
“I have high hopes that this election will be decided tomorrow, but if not then we have to behave like a football team when a game goes into overtime. We’ll rest for 15 minutes and then get back on the field to score the goals we didn’t score in regulation time,” he told reporters.
The election result was a blow to progressive Brazilians who were seeking an emphatic victory over Bolsonaro, a former army captain who has repeatedly attacked the country’s democratic institutions and destroyed Brazil’s international standing.
Updated at 8:38 PM EDT
We’re almost there – at least Lula looks like he won this round. But a runoff against Bolsonaro is almost guaranteed at this point.
We bring you Lula’s speech tonight as it happens.
The Guardian’s Latin America correspondent Tom Phillips is waiting to hear from Lula after a disappointing night.
With almost 97% of the votes counted, we’ll probably know the result within half an hour.
We expect Lula to address the media soon once the election results are confirmed. A somber night for the left in many ways, with a string of Bolsonarista victories and a narrower result than polls predicted. Pollsters said 50/36. Looks like late 48/43 pic.twitter.com/DVZCLxmjoe
— Tom Phillips (@tomphillipsin) October 3, 2022
Here’s an analysis of what’s happening tonight via the Associated Press.
It seems increasingly likely that neither of the two frontrunners will receive more than 50% of the valid votes in Brazil’s national elections, ruling out invalid and blank ballots, which would mean a second round of voting is scheduled for October 30.
“We will most likely have a second round,” said Nara Pavão, who teaches political science at the Federal University of Pernambuco. “The probability of ending the election now (in the first ballot) is too low.”
“The extreme right has shown great resilience in the presidential and state elections,” said Carlos Melo, professor of political science at Insper University in São Paulo.
“It’s too early to go too deep, but this election shows that Bolsonaro’s win in 2018 wasn’t a hiccup,” he added.
According to Rafael Cortez, head of political risk at consultancy Tendencias Consultoria, Bolsonaro outperformed in Brazil’s southeastern region, which includes the populous states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais.
“The polls haven’t caught that growth,” Cortez said.
With the count almost complete, a first-round win seems out of reach for Lula, meaning he will likely face Bolsonaro in the Oct. 30 runoff.
A win for Lula in this round is by no means guaranteed.
Political economist Filipe Campante:
To my non-Brazilian supporters, make no mistake, the prospects for Brazilian democracy now look far bleaker than they did 24 hours ago. Bolsonaro will have a real chance of winning the runoff and if that happens, we’re in big trouble.
— Filipe Campante (@FilipeCampante) October 2, 2022
Andrew Downie reports for the Guardian from São Paulo:
Two major Senate victories in southern Brazil for Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. In the state of Paraná, Sergio Moro won the election with 33.6% of the vote and in Rio Grande do Sul, Hamilton Mourão also won with 44.3%.
A former army general, Mourão was Bolsonaro’s vice president, while Moro was the judge leading the car wash investigation that led to Lula’s imprisonment in 2017.
Bolsonaro appointed Moro as his justice minister, but his image as an anti-corruption crusader was tarnished when higher-level courts overturned his decision to jail Lula and released the former president.
An investigation by The Intercept found Moro colluded with prosecutors to harm Lula’s defense.
He tried running for president, but his campaign never got off the ground and after back-and-forth discussions with parties in at least two different states, he decided to run for the Senate in his home state.
Mourão, meanwhile, defeated PT veteran Olivio Dutra, a former governor of Rio Grande do Sul.
Lula now leads by almost 4% – but hasn’t garnered enough votes to avoid a runoff with Bolsonaro. And the counting is almost over.