Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of the Workers’ Party (PT) won the second round in the presidential elections on Sunday and is set to serve a third four-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2023.
Lula defeated current President Jair Bolsonaro of the Liberal Party by a slight margin, according to figures released by the Superior Electoral Tribunal. Widely known as “Lula” by his Brazilian fellows, the son of a poor farming family born in October 1945 and leader of trade union activities in his early years, he co-founded the left-wing PT in 1980 along with intellectuals and union leaders. Lula was elected president as a candidate for the PT in October 2002, becoming the first worker-turned-president in Brazil. He assumed office in January 2003. In October 2006, he secured a second term until January 2011.
During Lula’s presidency, Brazil saw an annual growth rate of 4.3 percent and returned to the world’s top 10 largest economies. He was also credited with welfare programs, including Fome Zero (“Zero Hunger” in English) and Bolsa Familia (“Family Allowance” in English), which lifted millions of Brazilians out of poverty. Lula was caught up in Brazil’s massive corruption probe code-named Operation Car Wash in 2014, leading to his imprisonment in April 2018. In March 2021, Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court annulled all the convictions on corruption charges against Lula.