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World Leaders Congratulate Lula on Election Victory

US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and other world leaders have vowed to work closely with Lula.

World leaders congratulated former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Sunday after he defeated incumbent Jair Bolsonaro in a tight runoff race that marked a stunning comeback for the veteran leftist.

US President Joe Biden congratulated Lula for winning the "free, fair and credible" presidential election against Bolsonaro.

"I send my congratulations to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on his election to be the next president of Brazil following free, fair, and credible elections," Biden said in a statement.

"I look forward to working together to continue the cooperation between our two countries in the months and years ahead," he added.

French President Emmanuel Macron also congratulated Lula and said the poll opened "a new page" in the nation's history. 

"Together, we will join forces to take up the many common challenges and renew the ties of friendship between our two countries," the French president tweeted.

Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez said Lula's win "opens a new era for the history of Latin America. A time of hope and future that begins today."

"After so many injustices you lived through, the people of Brazil have elected you and democracy has triumphed," he added in a tweet.

Lula's return to power in Brazil follows a string of left-wing victories in Latin America.

Gustavo Petro, who became Colombia's first leftist president after his election this summer, tweeted simply "Long live Lula." He later shared a map from DW's Portuguese for Brazil service showing that the majority of Latin American countries are now led by leftist governments.

Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador tweeted: "Lula won, blessed people of Brazil. There will be equality and humanism."

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro offered a "big hug" to Lula, saying in a tweet: "Long live the peoples determined to be free, sovereign and independent! Today in Brazil democracy triumphed."

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he looked forward to working with Lula "to strengthen the partnership between our countries" and "to advance shared priorities — like protecting the environment."

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who claims to have good relations with both Lula and Bolsonoaro, offered his congratulations.

"Please accept my sincere congratulations... the election results have confirmed your impressive political authority," Putin said. "I hope that through joint efforts we will pursue the development of constructive Russo-Brazilian cooperation in all areas."

Here's an overview of events that had occurred during election day in Brazil

Will Bolsonaro accept the result?

Bolsonaro has not yet conceded the race to Lula. The far-right incumbent has previously suggested he would claim fraud if he lost the race.  

In his victory speech, Lula called for "peace and unity" following a bitter electoral campaign. He said he would represent all Brazilians, not just those who supported him.

"It is in no one's interest to live in a divided nation in a permanent state of war," Lula said.

Lula managed to handily win the northeastern states of Brazil, whereas Bolsonaro was favored in the economic powerhouses of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in the southeast.

Lula's party accuses federal police of voter suppression 

Members of Lula da Silva's political party PT earlier called on the Justice Ministry to intervene in what they claimed were attempts by police forces to systematically roadblock PT supporters and prevent them from casting their ballots. 

"What is happening in the North-East is unacceptable," Lula said on his Telegram channel. 

NGO Human Rights Watch echoed the concerns expressed by activists on the ground and various PT members. The organization called on police authorities to adhere to a ruling by the country's top court banning all police operations that could hinder the ability of voters to transport themselves to the polls. 

Superior Electoral Court chief Alexandre de Moraes responded to the allegations just one and a half hours before polls closed. "A decision was taken to end these operations to avoid the delay of voters," Moraes told a press conference. 

But he also said that such operations had not caused voter suppression. Moraes also rejected a call to keep polls open, saying that "no bus was turned back and all could vote." 

Social democracy 'is opposite of what Bolsonaro thinks,' voter tells DW

Expat voters in Germany voiced concerns about a win for Bolsonaro in comments to DW's Portuguese for Brazil service.

"What I notice above all from the Brazilian friends I have here: they are Brazilians who chose to emigrate to Germany — especially those who arrived recently, like me, 2.5 years ago — because they expect a social democracy," one woman told DW outside a voting site in the city of Cologne.

"A country where the state still has a presence, a state that cares about its people, about its citizens. And they are people who value everything that this state can give to the citizen, which is the opposite of what Bolsonaro thinks," she added.

Expat line up to vote in Germany

Brazilians living in Germany waited in long lines in several German cities on Sunday to cast their votes in he presidential runoff.

Voters waited outside the Brazilian Embassy in Berlin, with the queues at times stretching down the street. Polls were open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (0700 UTC to 1600 UTC).

DW's Portuguese for Brazil service reported that voting for Brazilian expats moved faster in the German capital on Sunday than it did during the first round.

Long lines were also seen in the western city of Cologne, where a mobile consulate was established. Cologne has the largest Brazilian community in Germany, with some 15,000 Brazilians living in the region.

Germany has one of the largest pools of Brazilian expat voters in Europe, alongside Portugal, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Italy and Spain.

In the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, an estimated 7,500 voters showed up before the polls opened to secure their space in line.

Candidates cast their votes

The incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro cast his ballot in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday morning wearing the green and yellow colors of the Brazilian flag.

"God willing, we will be victorious later today," he said after voting. "Or even better, Brazil will be victorious."

Shortly afterwards, Lula da Silva cast his vote in Sao Bernardo do Campo. He said he was confident in the "victory of democracy" after voting.

 "One of the dreams that made me become a candidate in this election was to restore peace among Brazilians," he told reporters, dressed in a white shirt.

Bolsonaro, surrounded by security, waves at his supporters in front of a polling station in Rio de Janeiro Bolsonaro, surrounded by security, waves at his supporters in front of a polling station in Rio de Janeiro

Bolsonaro has managed to reduce Lula's lead in the run-up to the voteImage: Wagner Meier/Getty Images

Brazil's former President and presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attends voting at a polling station in Sao Bernardo do CampoBrazil's former President and presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attends voting at a polling station in Sao Bernardo do Campo

Da Silva has criticized his opponent as a "little dictator" and said he is confident the election's result would be a win for "democracy"Image: Amanda Perobelli/REUTERS

Observers expect a close outcome

Lula da Silva, the two-term former president who was jailed for 18 months a corruption conviction that was later thrown out, has comfortably led opinion polls in past months.

However, Bolsonaro performed much better than expected in the first round of voting on October 2. He received 43.2% of the votes behind Lula's 48.43%.

A final opinion poll from the Datafolha institute on Saturday put da Silva as the slight favorite to win with 52% of the vote.

"This is going to be a messy election," said Brian Winter, editor-in-chief of Americas Quarterly. "It's much closer than anyone thought."

Lula atop a car at a campaign rally, surrounded by thousands of supporters wearing redLula atop a car at a campaign rally, surrounded by thousands of supporters wearing red

Tens of thousands of Brazilians gathered alongside Lula da Silva at a campaign rally in Sao Paulo a day before the electionImage: Matias Delacroix/AP/picture alliance

Bolsonaro supporters to gather for 'Victory Party' during vote count

Some 120 million voters are expected to case their ballots at electronic voting machines — machines which  Bolsonaro has sowed doubt about in recent months, without presenting any proof.

Bolsonaro's allies have already organized a "Victory Party" to be held at the central esplanade of the capital, Brasilia, on Sunday during the vote count.

On Friday, Bolsonaro pledged to respect the outcome of the election, saying: "Whoever gets the most votes, wins."

But some are still cautious about the outcome.

"We don't know whether this result will be contested or not, and to what extent," said Carlos Melo, a political science professor at Insper University in Sao Paulo. "It's a very tough second round and a very tense Sunday, and tensions may continue beyond today."

More coverage from DW on the election in Brazil

Who is Bolsonaro? Who is Lula? What are the main issues at hand? DW has wrapped up Brazil's presidential election with everything you need to know about the vote.

Both Bolsonaro and Lula have positioned themselves as economic saviors. But the president's use of metrics like growth and unemployment don't necessarily reflect an improvement in many Brazilians' everyday lives, a DW analysis has found.

The last four years have seen attacks on Brazil's liberal values and democratic institutions since that have been unprecedented since the 1980s. DW's Astrid Prange, for whom Brazil is a second home, asks: "Where is 'my' Brazil?"

rs, zc/jcg (Reuters, AP, AFP)

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