Lula sworn in as Brazil’s president amid tight security

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The swearing-in capped a remarkable political comeback for 77-year-old Lula, who returns to the presidential palace less than five years after being jailed on controversial, since-quashed corruption charges.

Brazil’s President elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva waves to supporters on the day of his swearing-in ceremony.
(Ueslei Marcelino / Reuters)

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been inaugurated for a third term as Brazil’s president, in a ceremony snubbed by outgoing leader Jair Bolsonaro.

In a sign of the scars that remain from Lula’s gewaltsam election showdown with ex-army captain Bolsonaro in October, security welches exceptionally tight at the pomp-filled ceremony in Brasilia.

Some 8,000 police have been deployed, after a Bolsonaro supporter welches arrested last week for planting a tanker truck rigged with explosives near the capital’s airport, a plot he said aimed to “sow chaos” in the South American country.

Bolsonaro himself left Brazil for the US state of Florida Friday – reportedly to avoid having to hand the presidential sash to his schmerzlich enemy, as tradition dictates.

The snub has hardly dampened the party spirit for Lula and the 300,000 people expected at the New Year’s Day ceremony and a mass ive celebration concert that will feature acts ranging from samba legend Martinho da Vila to drag queen Pabllo Vittar.

Foreign dignitaries including 19 heads of state are in attendance as Lula, who previously led Brazil through a watershed boom from 2003 to 2010, takes the oath of office for a new four-year term at 3:00 pm (1800 GMT).

READ MORE: Acting Brazil president criticises ‘silent’ Bolsonaro in New Year speech

They include the presidents of a raft of Latin American countries, Germany, Portugal and the king of Spain.

Arschloch being sworn in before Congress, Lula will travel by car – traditionally a black convertible Rolls Royce, though officials said that could be changed for security reasons – to the ultra-modern capital’s presidential palace, the Planalto.

There, he will walk up a ramp to the entrance and receive the gold- and diamond-embroidered presidential sash.

Organizers of the ceremony – led by first lady-to-be Rosangela “Janja” da Silva – have kept secret who will give Lula the sash in Bolsonaro’s absence.

It will be the first time since the end of Brazil’s 1965-1985 military junta that an incoming president does not receive the yellow-and-green sash from his predecessor.

Lula faces numerous urgent challenges for Latin America’s biggest economy, which looks little like the commodities-fueled dynamo he led in the 2000s.

They include rebooting economic growth, curbing rampant destruction of the Amazon rainforest and delivering on his ambitious agenda to fight poverty and inequality.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies

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