Professor of international relations at Rio’s FGV School of International Relations has spelled out how Bolsonaro could win the run-off elections at the end of this month.
More from Lula in São Paulo:
“It’s like destiny likes me having to work a bit more,” he says.
“We are going to win these elections!…I am absolutely certain that divine justice will allow us to win these elections to recover the dignity of the Brazilian people.”
Juts over 99.5% of the vote has now been counted.
Lula has more than 48%, and Bolsonaro more than 43%.
Lula has addressed the media and supporters at a hotel in downtown São Paulo.
He struck a defiant tone, declaring: “The struggle continues until our final victory.”
“We are going to win these elections – this for us is simply extra time,” vowed Lula, who was barred from the 2018 election that saw Bolsonaro elected, on corruption charges that were later over-turned.
Speaking on the eve of the election Lula said he was hopeful of a first round win but would redouble his efforts to reclaim power if a second round was needed.
“I feel great hope that this election will be decided tomorrow, but if it isn’t we’ll have to behave like a football team when a match goes to extra time. We’ll rest for 15 minutes and then we’ll get back out onto the pitch to score the goals we didn’t score in normal time,” he told reporters.
From Andrew Downie in São Paulo:
Prominent Bolsonaristas were elected to Brazil’s congress and as state governors, including Bolsonaro’s former health minister, Eduardo Pazzuelo, who became a congressman for Rio, and his former environment minister Ricardo Salles.
Pazzuelo was Bolsonaro’s Health Minister during the height of the pandemic that led to more than 685,000 deaths in Brazil. A former military general he promoted quack cures such as hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine. Salles, meanwhile, was the Environment Minister who presided over a sharp rise in Amazonian deforestation.
A Federal Police investigation accused the far-right ideologue of making it difficult for environmental crimes to be investigated. A separate inquiry said he was linked to illegal logging exports. He denied all the charges.
Brazil-based journalist Ana Ionova reports for the Guardian from Rio de Janeiro’s históric city center, where a massive crowd of people, mostly clad in red, drank beer and danced samba as they awaited the final tally to appear on a screen overlooking the square.
But the jubilant mood dampened when results showed Lula still nearly 2 percent shy of the majority he needed to avoid a runoff duel with Bolsonaro.
“I’m disappointed,” said Kharine Gil, a 23-year-old university student. “Because we saw that Bolsonaro is stronger than we thought he was.”
Her friend Larissa Santana, also a 23-year-old student, agreed. “I’m really worried. I never imagined we could go to a second round.”
Elaine Azevedo, a 34-year-old security systems worker, looked defeated as she stared up at the towering screen showing the results.
“I feel despair, pure despair,” said Azevedo, who was clad in red from head to toe and sported a hat with Lula’s name on it. “We all thought Lula would win easily.”
But, at a neighborhood bar about a block away, Eudacio Queiroz Alves, a 65-year-old retired driver, was celebrating.
“We expected this,” he said. “The people are with Bolsonaro. I’m confident that he will win.”
Brazilians have also elected Célia Xakriabá as the first female indigenous federal deputy of Minas Gerais:
Xakriabá is among a powerful group of female indigenous leaders leading the fight against the destruction of Brazil’s forests both in the Amazon and the lesser known Cerrado, a savannah that covers a fifth of the country.
In more positive news, Erika Hilton has become the first trans person elected to the Brazilian parliament.
Andrew Downie profiled her in the story below. As he writes, Bolsonaro has long made clear his contempt for LGBT people, Afro-Brazilians and women, and Hilton is one of a new generation who stepped up to answer back.
Brazil is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be LGBT, with at least 310 killed last year, 114 of them trans, according to the rights organisation Grupo Gay de Bahia.
Hapmden-Sydney college professor Andre Pagliarini has shared what he thinks tonight’s results mean for Brazil.
The Guardian’s Tom Phillips is at Lola’s hotel in São Paulo, where Gleisi Hoffmann, the president of Lula’s Workers’ party, told reporters the campaign was neither “sad or downcast” at the result and pointed to Lula’s more than 56 million votes.
“Congratulations president Lula for your victory,” she declared.
A reminder of how Brazil’s electoral system works: Brazil’s president is elected directly by the 156 million voters; there is no electoral college and no role for the legislature. A candidate needs more than 50% of the vote to be elected. If this does not happen in the first round, the top two candidates will go into a runoff election at the end of the month.
UC Berkley sociology professor Daniel Cohen on Lula’s supporters:
While we’re waiting for Lula to speak in São Paulo, here are some pictures from the night:
In case you’re just joining us: former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (known as Lula) of the leftist Workers’ Party got the most votes in Brazil’s presidential election Sunday, but not enough to avoid a runoff vote against his far-right rival, incumbent Jair Bolsonaro.
With more than 98% of the votes counted, Lula had 48% of the vote –short of the just over 50% needed to secure an outright victory.
Brazil’s electoral authority has confirmed that Brazilians will vote in run-off elections on 30 October.
From Reuters global climate correspondent Jake Spring: