Latin America

Lula is Brazil’s President again

Term number three begins: Brazil's President Lula has taken his oath of office. Hundreds of thousands of people celebrate him on the streets of the capital Brasilia - but his tasks are enormous.

Left-wing politician Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is once again President of Brazil. The 77-year-old took his oath of office in Congress. He is entering his third term in office: he had already been president from 2003 to 2010. Lula is the first democratically elected president in Brazil to serve a third term.

His government will fight for a dignified life for all Brazilians, Lula said in Congress – without hunger, without poverty, but with work, education and health: “The vision of my life will be fulfilled if every Brazilian has three meals a day .” His message is “one of hope and reconstruction”.

Lula takes over the presidency from right-wing extremist Jair Bolsonaro, against whom he narrowly defeated in the runoff election at the end of October. Bolsonaro does not recognize Lula’s victory and left the country for Florida a few days before the change of office. He is said to have followed the advice of his lawyers, who fear investigations against him due to omissions during the corona pandemic. Bolsonaro also avoided putting the presidential sash on his successor, Lula, as is usual.

Reconciliation after the Bolsonaro era?

Lula now faces great challenges. After his predecessor deeply divided society and isolated the country, he wants to reconcile Brazil and bring it back onto the international stage. Lula also announced a firm environmental and climate policy. However, Bolsonaro’s supporters have the majority in Congress.

In his first two terms, Lula benefited from the commodity boom. He was able to lift millions of people out of poverty through large social programs. But there was also a lot of corruption. Lula was sentenced to a long prison sentence for this and for money laundering, but the sentence was later overturned.

Man wanted to go to celebrations with explosive device

There had been an incident shortly before the swearing-in. Police arrested a man who tried to gain access to the esplanade in the capital Brasilia with an explosive device and a knife. A military police representative told Reuters news agency. Around 300,000 people are expected to attend the inauguration ceremony.

The transfer of office takes place under increased security precautions. The reason is threats from supporters of Bolsonaro. After the election, they blocked country roads for weeks and called on the military to stage a coup.

Brazil Election: Lula wants to be president for everyone


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