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Lula da Silva takes over as Brazil's president, slams Bolsonaro's legacy

New DelhiEdited By: Harshit SabarwalUpdated: Jan 02, 2023, 09:23 AM IST
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Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his wife Rosangela "Janja" da Silva gesture at the Planalto Palace, in Brasilia, Brazil, January 1, 2023. Photograph:(Reuters)

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Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, 77, returns to the presidential palace less than five years after he was jailed on controversial, since-quashed corruption charges. As president, he faces numerous challenges including rebooting Brazil's economic growth, curbing the destruction of the Amazon rainforest and delivering on his agenda to fight poverty and inequality.

Leftist leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, more commonly known as Lula, was sworn in as Brazil's president on Sunday in the capital city of Brasilia amid tightened security. He is the first president in the country to have been elected to a third term in office. Lula, dressed in a blue suit and tie, took the oath of the office before Congress, vowing to "maintain, defend and obey the constitution,'' news agency AFP reported. 

Lula described former president Jair Bolsonaro’s government as one the worst periods in Brazilian history and called the last few years “an era of shadows, doubts and a lot of suffering.”

Lula, 77, returns to the presidential palace less than five years after he was jailed on controversial, since-quashed corruption charges. AFP earlier on Sunday said that 8,000 police personnel were deployed for the inauguration ceremony after a supporter of former president Jair Bolsonaro was arrested last week for planting a truck rigged with explosives. 

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Bolsonaro left for the United States on Friday- to avoid handing over the presidential sash to Lula. In the general election held in October last year, Lula narrowly defeated Bolsonaro with 50.9 per cent of the vote.

With Lula taking over office, he faces numerous challenges including rebooting Brazil's economic growth, curbing the destruction of the Amazon rainforest and delivering on his agenda to fight poverty and inequality.

According to political experts, the new Brazilian president will have to act assertively in the first 100 days of governance to show where the government is headed. 

"His election win was very tight, and he'll face a divided country and a combative opposition. He'll have to lead a national unity government and restore the peace," political scientist Leandro Consentino told AFP on Sunday. 

(With inputs from agencies)
 

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