Biden congratulates Lula for winning 'free, fair' Brazil election

Leftist Lula defeated President Jair Bolsonaro in an election runoff that marked a stunning comeback for Lula and the end of Brazil's most right-wing government in decades.

 Brazil's former President and presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his wife Rosangela Lula da Silva, also know as Janja, react at an election night gathering on the day of the Brazilian presidential election run-off, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, October 30, 2022.  (photo credit: REUTERS/AMANDA PEROBELLI)
Brazil's former President and presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his wife Rosangela Lula da Silva, also know as Janja, react at an election night gathering on the day of the Brazilian presidential election run-off, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, October 30, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/AMANDA PEROBELLI)

US President Joe Biden congratulated Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva for his victory on Sunday in "free, fair and credible elections," and said he looks forward to continued cooperation between the countries.

Leftist Lula defeated President Jair Bolsonaro in an election runoff that marked a stunning comeback for Lula and the end of Brazil's most right-wing government in decades. Lula won 50.9% of votes compared with 49.1% for Bolsonaro, the Supreme Electoral Court said, declaring Lula, previously a two-term president, the winner.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken congratulated Brazilians in a tweet "for exercising their right to vote and reaffirming the strength of their democracy."

The United States "looks forward to continuing our strong partnership with President-Elect Lula as we build a democratic, prosperous, and equitable hemisphere," he said.

President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva

 Supporters of Brazil's former President and presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva gesture at a gathering on the day of the Brazilian presidential election run-off, in Sao Paulo, Brazil October 30, 2022.  (credit: CARLA CARNIEL/REUTERS) Supporters of Brazil's former President and presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva gesture at a gathering on the day of the Brazilian presidential election run-off, in Sao Paulo, Brazil October 30, 2022. (credit: CARLA CARNIEL/REUTERS)

A former union leader born into poverty, Lula organized strikes against Brazil's military government in the 1970s. His two-term presidency was marked by a commodity-driven economic boom and he left office with record popularity.

However, his Workers Party was later tarred by a deep recession and a record-breaking corruption scandal that jailed him for 19 months on bribery convictions, which were overturned by the Supreme Court last year.

In his third term, Lula will confront a sluggish economy, tighter budget constraints and a more hostile legislature.

Foreign leaders congratulate Lula

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday congratulated Brazilian President-elect Lula on winning a third term as president, unseating incumbent Jair Bolsonaro.

In a statement on the Kremlin website, Putin said he hoped for strengthened Brazil-Russia ties, and that the election result showed Lula's "high political authority."

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz congratulated Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on winning Brazil's runoff election for president, saying in a tweet on Monday that he looked forward to cooperating with Lula, especially on the topics of trade and climate protection.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday congratulated Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on his victory in Brazil's election, saying he looked forward to coordinating on issues including protecting the planet's natural resources.

"I look forward to working together on the issues that matter to the UK and Brazil, from growing the global economy to protecting the planet’s natural resources and promoting democratic values," Sunak said on Twitter.

China's foreign ministry also congratulated Lula for his win in Brazil's presidential election.