The last investiture will be on January 1 after the change introduced in the Constitution

The leftist leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will become president of Brazil again this Sunday, in a long-anticipated return to the political front line that his predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro, will follow from a distance, since he will not comply with the protocol procedures in Brasilia when being outside the country.

Lula already governed Brazil between 2003 and 2010, years during which he increased the international presence of the South American giant, symbolized in unprecedented Olympic Games, and adopted measures to try to combat poverty and reduce inequality.

The numerous corruption scandals, mostly structured by the plot of the construction company Odebrecht, nevertheless marked his legacy in later years. Lula himself was imprisoned, after a sentence that the Justice annulled ‘after the fact’ for irregularities and in a context where political polarization had already spread to all the powers of the State.

Both Lula and the country in general have changed in the latter, although challenges such as the fight against poverty have not, since data shows that more than 33 million people are hungry in Brazil, according to Red Penssan. Only four out of ten families can fully cover their food needs and the NGO Oxfam estimates that the country has gone back to the 1990s.

Brazil must also face scourges such as insecurity and, in economic terms, volatile inflation –6 percent in November– and a slowdown in growth yet to be determined. The Central Bank estimated this December that GDP will grow by 2.9 percent in 2022 and that, in 2023, it will remain around 1 percent.

In political terms, Lula will be obliged to serve a divided citizenry, to the extent that his victory in the last elections was not as overwhelming as might be expected and there was less than two points difference with Bolsonaro. In fact, the outgoing president obtained 58.2 million votes, more than four years earlier.

It has formed a multiparty government, although it reserves key positions for the Workers’ Party (PT), and with a greater presence of women, although it is far from equal since the balance continues to favor men with 26 positions to eleven .

Congress will also be dominated by conservative parties, thanks to the rise of the extreme right, which will limit the room for maneuver of the new president, who has promised greater budget transparency and recover the environmental policies reviled by Bolsonaro.

Lula has already begun to make it clear that, in the international arena, he will also distance himself from his predecessor, an ally of former President Donald Trump and a critic of multilateralism. Bolsonaro was practically alone in the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, criticizing the restrictions and spreading health hoaxes.

The far-right leader will end his term with an approval level of 39 percent, while 37 percent of citizens disapprove of his management, according to the final Datafolha poll. These are the worst results at the end of a first term since the arrival of democracy in Brazil.

SOCIAL TENSION

Bolsonaro’s silence after the closure of the polling stations gave rise to a wave of protests marked by the blockade of roads. Several days passed before the outgoing president promised to start the transition, although he did it with a small mouth and without openly acknowledging that he had been defeated — in recent years he had already given rise to conspiracy theories without evidence about electoral fraud –.

Lula has promised that in the early stages of his term he will take action against those who continue to refuse to acknowledge his victory, at a time when there are still groups of ‘Bolsonaristas’ demanding potential intervention by the Armed Forces in front of the barracks. Operations have also been carried out to dismantle alleged violent plans.

Bolsonaro, however, not only has not shown signs of softening his position, but has completed his list of rudeness with a notable absence at the investiture of his successor. According to the G1 portal, Bolsonaro’s lawyers have advised him to be out of Brazil before January 1 for fear of being arrested.

The fear of possible violent acts has also led to the mobilization of a large security device, both at the inauguration ceremony itself and on the streets in different parts of the country. Lula’s team has organized a concert that could be attended by hundreds of thousands of people.

THE LAST INVESTMENT ON JANUARY 1

More than a dozen heads of state and government will attend ‘in situ’ the start of the new political stage in Brazil, including King Felipe VI, who will attend accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares , and the Second Vice President and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz.

It is a tradition that the presidential inauguration in Brazil occurs on January 1, since this is what the Constitution established, but this 2023 will be the last time the ceremony coincides with the New Year. In 2021, a constitutional amendment was approved that delays “to January 5 of the year following his election” the inauguration of the new president, something that will already be applied in 2027.

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