exactlye 20 years after first coming to power, 77-year-old Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was proclaimed president together with his vice, Geraldo Alckmin, when pronouncing his “constitutional commitment”.
The ceremony began with a minute of silence in memory of former Brazilian star Pelé and Benedict XVI, both died this week at the ages of 82 and 95, respectively.
Dressed in a blue suit and tie, Lula promised in his first speech to “rebuild” the country on the “ruins” of Bolsonaro’s legacy.
“They emptied health resources, dismantled education, culture, science and technology, destroyed environmental protection,” said Lula, who also reaffirmed his commitment to reduce deforestation in the Amazon to zero.
“There is no need to fell any more trees,” said the president, assuring that this will not prevent him from supporting Brazil’s powerful agricultural sector. “It is possible to live without cutting wood, without fires, without invading our biomes,” he stated.
To Congress, Lula arrived in the traditional black convertible Rolls Royce together with the first lady “Janja”, to the cheers of his followers, some of them with tears in their eyes, confirmed the AFP.
Contrary to tradition, su predecessor was absent. Bolsonaro traveled to the United States on Friday, two days before the end of his period of government.
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For the first time since 1985, an outgoing president will not pass the presidential sash, an act that will take place later in the Planalto Palace.
The leftist was supported by about twenty heads of state, the largest number for a takeover in Brazil.
Between these, The leaders of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Honduras and Uruguay appear, as well as the King of Spain, Felipe VI.
Washington sent Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, the first indigenous woman to form a cabinet in the United States, while Vice President Wang Qishan attended on behalf of China.
– Presidential band and speech
After the ceremony in Congress, the most awaited moment will arrive: Lula will walk down the ramp of the Planalto presidential palace and will receive the sash, a green and yellow silk ribbon, the colors of the national flag, embroidered in gold and diamonds.
Then he will speak before some 30,000 people, around 5:00 p.m. local time (20:00 GMT).
Meanwhilethe streets of the capital were overflowing with supporters of Lula, dressed mostly in red, the color of their Workers’ Party.
Sapuia Kalapalo, a 32-year-old indigenous man from the state of Mato Grosso (center-west), did not want to miss the ceremony, where he went with his wife and two children.
“The four years of the government that left (Bolsonaro) were bad for us,” explains Sapuia, who has lived in the capital for three months. Lula “is a hope for us, for our rights, and the demarcation of indigenous lands,” he adds.
The ceremony has an unprecedented security device, with up to 8,000 agents mobilized.
Brazilian police detained a man on Sunday who was trying to enter the area of the Esplanade of the Ministries where the institutions are carrying a knife and fireworks.
Preparations for the inauguration had been shaken after the arrest of a Bolsonaro member who planted an explosive near the Brasilia airport to “cause chaos”, provoke the declaration of a state of siege and thus prevent the inauguration, according to his own statement. confession.
Since the ballot, thousands of Bolsonaro supporters mobilized in various cities to reject the result at the polls and call for military intervention.
– Immediate challenges –
The leftist president He will have greater immediate challenges than he has faced in his other two presidencies, which left with an unusual popularity of 87%.
Some 30 million of the 215 million Brazilians go hungry and the economy barely manages to recover after the pandemic hit.
“In the first 100 days you will have to show what direction the government will take. The electoral victory was tight and he will face a divided country with a fierce opposition. He needs to lead a government of pacification and national unity,” explained Leandro Consentino, a political scientist at the Insper institute in Sao Paulo.
Lula prevailed over Bolsonaro in the run-off on October 30 by 50.9% of the votes compared to 49.1%, a result that revealed a deeply polarized society.
The ex-unionist must gain “credibility” regarding the management of public accounts in the face of a delicate fiscal situation, despite the fact that his campaign promises require an increase in spending to finance social programs, according to Consentino.
According to a survey by the Datafolha institute on Saturday, only 51% of Brazilians believe that Lula will govern better than Bolsonaro, the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper reported.