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Tears, fear and futile prayer as Lula wins Brazil vote

#Tears #fear #futile #prayer #Lula #wins #Brazil #vote

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva supporters were already breaking out the flares and crying with joy, while backers of Jair Bolsonaro dropped to their knees in Brazil’s capital, praying for an election miracle.

For almost three hours a nail-biting presidential vote count was too close to call, but as the leftist hero’s lead of less than two percentage points stuck, it became clear that no prayer could stop the inevitable.

“The feeling is indescribable,” said Carolina Freio, 44, a public servant, in a Copacabana bar as she welled up with tears after Lula clinched victory with 50.9 percent to Bolsonaro’s 49.1 percent.

“He represents so much: gender equality, freedom. Lula will change everything,” she said, overcome with emotion.

Lula’s supporters exploded with joy across the country. In economic powerhouse Sao Paulo, thousands crammed the streets in a sea of red, the colour used by his fans, clinking beers and setting off flares.

“I won, it is my victory, like everyone I am crying with joy,” said a jubilant Mary Alves Silva, 53, a retired banker with Lula stickers covering her arms and chest. She added that the win was also for the stricken Amazon rainforest and its Indigenous inhabitants.

At a bar in Leme, an upscale neighbourhood of Rio de Janeiro, technician Victoria Cabral remained on edge after the results came in.

“I cannot understand how half of the country voted for Bolsonaro, it makes me feel very insecure,” she said.

“However, I think hope will return now. It goes beyond politics, we are talking about humanity. Bolsonaro is racist, homophobic, thieving, misogynistic…. I can go on. Not that Lula is the ideal candidate, but he is so much better.”

– ‘Faked election’ –

As the result crystalized, Bolsonaro supporters gathered in the capital Brasilia dropped to their knees and raised their hands skyward in prayer and supplication.

“We need a miracle,” a speaker said over the microphone, as Bolsonaro supporters clutched each other and wept.

“I am still hoping the president will meet with the generals, we are hoping that things can change at any moment,” said a 57-year-old dentist who did not want to be named.

Ruth da Silva Barbosa, a 50-year-old teacher, said she was “revolted” by the outcome.

“The Brazilian people aren’t going to swallow a faked election and hand our nation over to a thief,” she said.

The country finds itself split in two after a dirty and divisive vote.

After months of attacking the electoral system, Bolsonaro maintained radio silence for hours after the result was announced, raising tension in Latin America’s biggest economy.

“It scares me because I believe he is capable of anything, even though I think democracy will prevail,” said 34-year-old software developer Larissa Meneses, taking part in the Sao Paulo festivities.

As the Lula party continued, Bolsonaro’s supporters quickly dispersed.

Rogerio Barbosa, selling Brazilian flags near a Sao Paulo metro station, was desolately packing up his merchandise.

“I came in case Bolsonaro won, so I could sell his flag,” said the 58-year-old.

“I preferred Bolsonaro. God, family, anyway. I will see what Lula can do for us.”

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#Tears #fear #futile #prayer #Lula #wins #Brazil #vote

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