(São Paulo) Even as Lula advanced in the first round of Brazil’s presidential election, his supporters celebrated Sunday night in Sao Paulo who hoped he would win the waivers. But the atmosphere was leaden.
Updated at 6:21 am.
Thousands of people gathered on Paulista Avenue, the symbol of Brazil’s economic capital, hoping to celebrate Lula’s victory in the first round.
But Jair Bolsonaro, 67, the outgoing president of the far-right, fared better than expected, receiving 43% of the vote, against 48% of the votes of Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, 76, an icon of the Brazilian left. A gap of about six million votes, according to the official semi-final results.
“The number of votes for Bolsonaro is surprising. For them, it’s good, for us it’s the worst that can happen,” Jose Antonio Benedetto, a 63-year-old civil servant, told AFP. “I don’t know what’s happening in Brazil, 50 % of our population is sick. Only Lula can cure this, and vaccinate our people.”
Wearing the red shirt of the Workers’ Party (PT) Lula, who has ruled Brazil for 14 years, smiles as he says he is sure the electors of the candidates will arrive in 3e and 4e At the center, Simon Tibet (MDB, center right) with 4% and Cerro Gomez (middle left PDT) with 3%, will vote for Lula.
Prayers for the “Satan”
“I was hoping Lola would win by a large margin in the first round, but I think the difference is enough (to win the exemption) because there are still a lot of people who haven’t voted for him,” adds Clarice Navas, a 36-year-old filmmaker, with her husband, and their adult son. Two years old in a small black car.
Despite hopes arose of seeing Lula in power for the third time, after his two terms (2003-2010), the results are affecting the atmosphere. Participants speak in low voices while stocking up on beer and food from street stalls. The joy they had expected the day before seemed far-fetched.
On a corner of Paulista Avenue, guarded by police, cavalry police, and riot police, a woman doubles her prayer to ward off the “devil.”
“Vio, Vue, Bolsonaro are not welcome here,” she says.
In the cold of the night, the atmosphere changes as the speakers start streaming music. Flags, mostly red, begin to wave and we dance to the tunes of “thirteen, thirteen, thirteen,” Lola’s symbol at electronic ballot boxes.
He asks the man in charge of giving instructions from the top of the truck that no one be “sad” and that everyone go to bed later as winners.
In the middle of the evening, Lola arrived to thank his supporters. “I never won an election in the first round,” he told them to applause, “it seems fate is asking me to work a little more.”
“We have to be hopeful, a lot. I thought we would win in the first round, but let’s go,” Lucia Carvalho, a 39-year-old domestic worker, smiles.
Away from the crowds, architect Alex Matos seems deep in thought.
“What was frightening was the difference in opinion polls about Bolsonaro, how he managed to trim the margin,” he explains. “We remain hopeful and resilient to win the second round, but it is a battle that will be very difficult and stressful because it was already exhausting.”