How Bolsonaro’s defeat leads the rise of left in Latin America

The victory of Lula da Silva proves to be a revolutionary change of leadership in Brazil at a time when it is under deep economic and environmental threat. Know how the election of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will be a game changer

Sharmila Bhadoria
First Published1 Nov 2022, 11:18 AM IST
Winner Lula da Silva prevailed over the incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro by winning 50.09 per cent of votes
Winner Lula da Silva prevailed over the incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro by winning 50.09 per cent of votes(AFP)

Months of campaigning and massive polarisation yielded no results for Jair Bolsonaro, as he lost by a thin margin from the veteran leftist, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Brazil's Presidential elections on Sunday.

Winner Lula da Silva prevailed over the incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro by winning 50.09 per cent of votes. With this, the drama that had entangled the Brazilian economy in a series of wrong decisions taken by Jair Bolsonaro has come to an end. Be it handling of COVID pandemic in the country or saving the Amazon, Jair Bolsonaro’s disastrous leadership left Brazilians fighting for their rights as basic as free speech.

The victory of Lula da Silva can help heal the Amazon

Jair Bolsonaro’s policy proved to be a major climate catastrophe. It was never only the environment, as his stance on the COVID pandemic, free speech, arms laws, and several other issues threw Brazil into a path of instability.

Talking about saving the Amazon rainforest, both the leaders, Jair Bolsonaro and Lula da Silva, claimed to reduce deforestation during their tenure. A close look at the Prodes report, shows that its results align with Jair Bolsonaro’s claim that deforestation was at its lowest during his tenure. However, the report also sheds light upon Lula da Silva’s efforts, which brought down deforestation to a historically low level by the time he left office in 2010. On contrary, the rate of deforestation increased annually under Jair Bolsonaro’s leadership.

How the far right leader spread disinformation during the COVID pandemic

The price of Jair Bolsonaro’s focus on implementing the right-wing policy was paid by Brazilians during the COVID pandemic. Brazil has been one of the countries which have reported the maximum number of deaths due to COVID. At a time when leaders across the nation were finding all possible ways to encourage people to get vaccinated against COVID, the Brazilian President was busy declaring that these COVID vaccines caused HIV.

In one of his videos, the far-right leader was seen telling people that COVID vaccinations were linked with developing HIV AIDS. Seeing the potential of his baseless public statements in spreading misinformation and creating havoc, YouTube and Facebook removed the video of the Brazilian President from their platforms. In addition to removing his video, YouTube also suspended the controversial President from its platform for seven days in October last year, reported Reuters. During his tenure, the Brazilian economy didn’t perform significantly well and continued to deal with debts and imports.

Jair Bolsonaro’s autocracy

Weeks before when Brazilians stepped out to vote for their next leader, Jair Bolsonaro was busy formulating a theory to reject his defeat. Days ago, Jair Bolsonaro’s politician son declared, without any evidence, that his father is the victim of “the greatest electoral fraud ever seen”.

Jair Bolsonaro also appealed to Brazil’s Electoral Justice for an investigation into the alleged irregularity during the election process. This appeal proved to be counteractive, as the national Electoral Justice ordered an investigation to find out whether the claims were genuine or they were formulated to “disrupt” the election, reported the Guardian.

Rise of the left in Latin America

Till now the results are clear and Brazil is for sure going to be free from the right-wing leadership of Jair Bolsonaro. With this victory, Latin America will be dominated by the rule of left-wing politicians. Lula’s victory has been preceded by the formation of leftist governments in Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Columbia. With the victory of Lula da Silva in Brazil, more than 90% of the continent will be led by leftist governments. However, Jair Bolsonraro will continue to be a strong opponent in the country.

Who is Lula da Silva

Lula da Silva last served as the President of Brazil from 2003-2010. The former president had to deal with severe health issues as well as some serious corruption charges. The very next year after stepping down from Presidency, Lula da Silva was convicted of his charges and was awarded 12-year imprisonment. However, his political career saw a ray of hope when Brazil’s Supreme Court overturned the decision. During this tenure, the leader has claimed to focus on necessities in the country like the public health system, return state-driven economic growth, alleviate poverty and save the environment. Under his tenure as President, India’s relationship with Brazil flourished. He also visited India as the Chief Guest at the Republic Day parade in 2004, 2007, and 2008.

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First Published:1 Nov 2022, 11:18 AM IST
HomeNewsWorldHow Bolsonaro’s defeat leads the rise of left in Latin America

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