• 1440 Daily Digest

Lula Leads in Brazil

Voters in Brazil went to the polls yesterday, casting ballots in a hotly contested runoff election between incumbent Jair Bolsonaro and former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Results show da Silva holding a roughly 1.8% lead over Bolsonaro, who has yet to concede as of this writing.

Brazil is the world's fourth largest democracy by population and the race has been framed as the most pivotal in Latin America in decades. Bolsonaro, a conservative populist, won 55% of the popular vote in 2018 but received heavy criticism for his handling of the pandemic. Da Silva, known popularly as "Lula," held office from 2003 to 2010, championing left-wing populist priorities, but was jailed for almost 20 months in 2018 on corruption charges. Lula led Bolsonaro in the first round of voting, 48.4% to 43.2%, but failed to capture a majority, triggering the runoff.

The highly polarized race became contentious in the final days, including accusations of cannibalism and satanism.

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