Pink tide rises in Brazil: Lula back for third term, expert outlines challenges | The Financial Express

Pink tide rises in Brazil: Lula back for third term, expert outlines challenges

Following the announcement of the election results, in an exclusive interaction Karin Costa Vazquez, Executive Director of the Center for African, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, at OP Jindal Global University (CALACS/JGU) speaks on the challenges that Lula will face.

brazil president
Lula's comeback will strengthen the significance of BRICS in international politics. [Photo: Reuters]

Brazil has become the third country in South America, after Colombia and Chile, showing a leftward shift with Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of the Worker’s Party defeating far right President Jair Bolsonaro in the recently concluded elections.

Based on reports in public domain though President Bolsonaro has not conceded defeat the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) has already declared 77 year old Lula the next president, with 50.9% of votes against 49.1% for Bolsonaro. His inauguration is scheduled to take place on January 1, 2023.

PM Modi congratulates Lula

On Monday (Oct 31, 2022) Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on his victory in the Brazil Presidential elections. The Prime Minister tweeted that he was looking forward to working with him on further deepening and widening the bilateral relations between the two countries and on cooperation on global issues.

Other world leaders including President Vladimir Putin of Russia, the US President Joe Biden, President of France Emmanuel Macron, leaders of the region as well as from across the world.

Lula had left office as the most popular president in the history of Brazil, then he was imprisoned for 18 months following controversial, since quashed corruption charges. This will be his third term as the top leader of his country. He last served as president of his country from 2003 to 2010.

Democracy is back

In his victory speech to the thousands of supporters in the City Center, Lula vowed: “democracy is back,” and that the country needs peace and unity.

He cited challenges including the deforestation in the Amazon, hunger crisis, the economy and bitter political division.

Following the announcement of the election results, in an exclusive interaction Karin Costa Vazquez, Executive Director of the Center for African, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, at OP Jindal Global University (CALACS/JGU) shares her views with Huma Siddiqui on challenges Lula will face.

Following are excerpts:

Lula won the most contentious presidential election in Brazilian history. Two factors were decisive for Lula’s victory. First, the support of the third most voted candidate, Simone Tebet,shortly after the result of the first round was announced, and the ensuing support of key political figures, leading economists, and entrepreneurs in Brazil. Second, a strong anti-Bolsonaro sentiment in Brazilian society and its desire to uphold democratic values,justice, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability.

Lula’s victory was not followed by an institutional crisis or coup, as most analysts predicted. Instead, elected Bolsonaro supporters such as former ministers Ricardo Salles and Sergio Moro made statements on social networks showing their acceptance of the result of the second round and willingness to exercise opposition to Lula’s future government. Despite not having recognized Lula’s victory, Bolsonaro appears not to have political support to attempt any major reaction.

Going forward, Lula will have to negotiate with Congress and maintain cohesion among the coalition that supported his candidacy. From State Assemblies to the Senate, Brazil will have even more conservative legislatures than in 2018.The center-left alliance that helped elect Lula will be another challenges the actors that Lula brought together to make his victory happen are very different one from another – from liberal to socialist groups that on various issues consider themselves opponents.

In his first speech after winning the election, Lula affirmed that Brazil’s most urgent commitment is to end hunger. Brazil is the world’s third largest producer of food and the first of animal protein. It also has technology and an immensity of farmland. If the country can export to the whole world, it has the obligation to ensure that every Brazilian can eat every day.

On the foreign policy front, Lula will focus on building partnerships to resume economic growth with social inclusion and environmental sustainability. Lula should be aware of the disruptive potential of major global transformations and promote actions that minimize risks and maximize opportunities from the shift of the geopolitical axis from the West to Asia and the increased relative economic weight of countries such as India. Brazil-India partnership could be instrumental for job creation, increasing economic complexity, reducing emissions, integrating global value chains, and implementing the 2030 Agenda.

Brazil-India relations that Lula’s government could look at are:

Considering the negotiations between Mercosur and India, significantly and progressively expand the list of products and the level of mutually granted preferences to support the expansion and diversification of trade flows on a sustained basis.

Also Read: Brazilian Elections 2022, a political inflection point?

Enter into agreements with Indian companies for the set-up of innovation hubs as well as the joint research, development, and transfer of technologies in sectors that contribute to raising the productivity, competitiveness, sophistication of the Brazilian economy.

Ratify Brazil’s participation in the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and deepen dialogue between Brazilian financial development institutions and their Indian counterparts for the creation of financing lines capable of boosting Brazil’s decarbonization. The New Development Bank could be instrumental in this.

Align economic recovery strategies with sustainable development criteria and instruments during the Indian, Brazilian and South African G20 presidency over the next three years, including through the revitalization of IBSA.

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First published on: 31-10-2022 at 17:48 IST