Lula sworn in as Brazilian president in ceremony snubbed by Bolsonaro

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is now officially at the helm of Brazil again. After his induction into Congress on Sunday, the president pledged “to rebuild the country” and to reconcile very divided Brazilians, citing the “disastrous” record of his predecessor Jair Bolsonaro.

“I will govern for 215 million Brazilians, and not just those who voted for me”, launched in front of a human tide a Lula visibly tested, at 77, by a long day of ceremonies and the summer heat of Brasilia. Overwhelmed by emotion and interrupted by sobs, the historic leader of the left pledged to fight against hunger, “the most serious of crimes”, and to “combat all forms of inequality”. “No one will be a second-class citizen anymore,” he promised during his speech outside the presidential palace in Planalto.

A remarkable comeback after prison

Narrowly elected on October 30 against Bolsonaro, the old lion of Brazilian politics was invested in Congress for a third term, 12 years after leaving power (2003-2010). His return marks a remarkable comeback for the man who experienced prison only four years ago after being accused of corruption.

Before Congress, Lula accused Jair Bolsonaro, who snubbed the ceremonies, of having “exhausted health resources, dismantled education, culture, science and technology and destroyed environmental protection”. The new head of state assured that Brazil did not “need to deforest” to support its agriculture. The international community also expects strong gestures on the environment from him.

A minute of silence was also observed in tribute to football legend Pelé, who died on Thursday, and to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who died on Saturday. At the end of his speech, part of the Congress gave the president a standing ovation, shouting “Lula warrior of the Brazilian people! “.

Popular jubilation in Brasilia

Tens of thousands of Brazilians, dressed in red, the color of his Workers’ Party (PT), then cheered Lula along his journey in the traditional Rolls-Royce convertible, in which he had taken his seat despite security fears, with his center-right vice-president Geraldo Alckmin and their wives. No disturbance had been reported at the end of the day while the investiture ceremonies had been placed under high security, for fear of protest actions by far-right activists who still do not recognize his victory.

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Jair Bolsonaro, who left Brazil two days before the end of his mandate for Florida, therefore did not hand over the presidential sash to his successor as is democratic tradition, which has not happened since 1985 and the end of military rule. It was a group of citizens, including the cacique and emblematic defender of the Amazonian forest Raoni Metuktire, who presented him with the famous scarf set with gold and diamonds at the Planalto Presidential Palace, an architectural jewel of Oscar Niemeyer.

“We are together” says Macron to Lula

The day combined the pomp, with official ceremonies attended by twenty heads of state, a record, with a popular festival with concerts organized by Rosangela da Silva, “Janja”, the wife of Lula. Emmanuel Macron, for his part, congratulated his new Brazilian counterpart with two tweets, in French and in Portuguese. “Order and Progress: Brazil lives up to its motto. Congratulations dear President, dear friend Lula, for your investiture. We are together ! »

Lula, who has only completed his government of 37 ministers in recent days, will have to tackle a “Herculean task” on Monday, according to his vice-president: the transition team has drawn up a very dark of Brazil after four years of bolsonarism.

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