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Lula’s win certified by Brazil’s electoral court

Brazil President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s election win was certified by Brazil’s electoral court in a ceremony that closed the window for possible challenges to the voting that gave the leftist leader a narrow victory over conservative President Jair Bolsonaro on October 30.

Lula and Vice-President-elect Geraldo Alckmin attended the ceremony on Monday under increased security, amid the possibility of protests by Bolsonaro’s supporters who have been stationed at the Brazilian capital over the past several weeks. The certification was moved forward by one week, as agreed by the court and the president-elect’s team.

Bolsonaro’s backers have been protesting the result of the election, sometimes blocking highways across the country while demanding military intervention to stop Lula from taking office. Last week, the outgoing president broke a long silence to say the armed forces were the last standing barrier to socialism in Brazil.

“This certification was won by a considerable part of the Brazilian people who have regained the right to live under democracy,” Lula said in a speech at the court, thanking the justices who he said have been the target of “offences and aggression” to guarantee the popular vote.

Last month, Bolsonaro’s Liberal Party sought to annul votes that gave Lula a victory in the runoff election, but the case backfired as the court considered the allegations were made in “bad faith” and fined the party 23-million reais ($4.4 million).

Top Justice Alexandre de Moraes, who presided over the electoral court during the election, said the certification not only attested Lula’s win but also reflected the rule of law’s victory against “antidemocratic attacks, hate speech and disinformation”.

“Those responsible for such attacks will be held accountable in order to prevent the same from happening in future elections,” he said.

(With assistance from Beatriz Reis.)

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