Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the leftist Brazilian president who exited office with an 83% approval rating only to be jailed on corruption charges that were later overturned, has staged the political comeback of the decade to defeat incumbent ultraconservative Jair Bolsonaro at the polls. Da Silva won 51% of votes to Bolsonaro's 49%, and as of the following morning Bolsonaro has yet to concede.
"Today the only winner is the Brazilian people," da Silva said in a speech Sunday evening at a hotel in downtown Sao Paulo. "It's the victory of a democratic movement that formed above political parties, personal interests and ideologies so that democracy came out victorious."
Da Silva is promising to govern beyond his party. He says he wants to bring in centrists and even some leaning to the right, and to restore the kind of prosperity the country enjoyed when he last served as president from 2003-2010. Yet he faces headwinds in a politically polarized society.
Bolsonaro's four years in office have been marked by proclaimed conservatism and defense of traditional Christian values. He claimed that his rival's return to power would usher in communism, legalized drugs, abortion and the persecution of churches — things that didn't happen during da Silva's earlier eight years in office.
Bolsonaro previously indicated his support for a coup to keep him in power, but Vox reports that Brazil's military isn't interested–instead, the prospect of a Trump-like cult of election conspiracy theories now presents itself.