Home International Lula Da Silva Takes Oath As Brazil’s President For Third Term

Lula Da Silva Takes Oath As Brazil’s President For Third Term

The 77-year-old leftist took the oath of office before Congress, capping a remarkable political comeback in less than five years after he was jailed on controversial corruption charges.

by News Desk
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Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Sunday took oath for a third term as president of Brazil. He defeated far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro in the elections that took place in October.The 77-year-old veteran leftist, who previously led Brazil from 2003 to 2010, took the oath of office before Congress, capping a remarkable political comeback for the metalworker-turned-president less than five years after he was jailed on controversial, since-quashed corruption charges, as reported by the news agency AFP.

Lula da Silva vowed to fight for the poor and the environment and “rebuild the country” after far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro’s divisive administration. Lula gave a blistering overview of the past four years under Bolsonaro, who snubbed the ceremony, said his government would work to undo a legacy of economic decline, funding cuts in health, education, and science, and the “stupidity” of plundering the nation’s resources for private gain.

“Upon these terrible ruins, I pledge to rebuild the country together with the Brazilian people,” Lula was quoted by AFP as saying. He vowed to fight to improve life for poor Brazilians, work toward racial and gender equality, and achieve zero deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, where destruction surged under Bolsonaro.

“The mandate we received, in the face of opponents inspired by fascism, will be defended through our democratic constitution. We will respond to hate with love, lies with the truth, terrorism, and violence with the law,” AFP quoted Lula as saying.

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Wearing a blue suit and tie, Lula arrived for the ceremony in a black convertible Rolls-Royce, accompanied by First Lady Rosangela “Janja” da Silva and Vice President Geraldo Alckmin.

The swearing-in began with a minute of silence for Brazilian football legend Pele and former pope Benedict XVI, who both died in recent days, AFP reported. Foreign dignitaries including 19 heads of state were in attendance as Lula, who previously led Brazil through a watershed boom, took the oath of office for a new four-year term.

Tens of thousands of red-clad supporters cheered loudly as their motorcade slowly rolled down Brasilia’s Esplanade of Ministries, escorted by dozens of bodyguards.

Security was exceptionally tight for the ceremony, with some 8,000 police deployed, after a Bolsonaro supporter was arrested last week for planting a tanker truck rigged with explosives near the capital’s airport, a plot he said aimed to “sow chaos” in the South American country, AFP reported.

Police said they arrested another man Sunday who tried to enter the secured inaugural ceremony area carrying a knife and fireworks. Since the end of Brazil’s 1965-1985 military dictatorship, it is the first time that an incoming leader has not received the yellow-and-green presidential sash from his predecessor.

A flood of Lula supporters from around the country formed massive lines to filter through the security cordon, belting out pro-Lula chants.

Lula Da Silva Faces Urgent Challenges

Lula faces numerous urgent challenges in the Latin American giant, which looks little like the commodities-fueled dynamo he led in the 2000s.

They include rebooting economic growth, curbing rampant destruction of the Amazon rainforest, and delivering on his ambitious agenda to fight poverty and inequality.

Markets are meanwhile watching nervously how Lula will fund his promised social spending, given Brazil’s overstretched government finances. Lula will face a Congress dominated by Bolsonaro’s conservative allies.

As a sign of how polarised the country remains, far-right hardliners have been protesting outside army bases since Lula’s win on October 30, calling for a military intervention to keep him from taking power, AFP reported.

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