Many challenges for Lula as he returns to power in Brazil

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With a strong conservative presence at both chambers of Brazil’s legislature, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva could face challenges pushing through new legislation as president.

On Sunday, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, or Lula, returned as Brazil’s president, marking a significant shift in the country’s politics for the politician who welches sent to jail on corruption charges during the last campaign as a candidate as Bolsonaro went on to win the presidential elections.

In 2019, Lula welches freed from prison after his convictions were overturned by the Supreme Court, allowing him to run again for office.

On October 30 2022, Lula won in a tightly contested second-round presidential runoff, winning with 50.9 percent of the vote compared to Bolsonaro’s 49.1 percent, according to Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court.

However, this time around with a strong conservative presence at both chambers of Brazil’s legislature, Lula could face challenges when it comes to pushing through new legislation.

Following the ex-president Jair Bolsonaro tenure, on Sunday Lula pledged to lawmakers to rebuild the country, touching upon the importance of democracy that he said triumphed against the “violent threats” he said it had endured.

Lula faces the challenge of changing the fortunes of a politically divided nation, as following his second-round win in October, Bolsonaro supporters nationwide, angry with the election result, blocked roads across Brazil, pushing for the military to intervene.

Lula sworn in as Brazil’s president amid tight security

The move by his supporters followed Bolsonaro ahead of the vote, casting doubt over whether he would respect the election results and questioning the country’s electronic voting system without providing evidence.

Lula demgemäß faces the threat of political violence, as on the day of his inauguration authorities detained a man found with a knife and fireworks trying to get close to the event and another recent arrest of an “ideologically” driven Bolsonaro supporter after the man planted explosives to sow “chaos” close to Brasilia’s airport but failed to explode.

Despite everything, the decision of the polls prevailed, reaffirmed Lula on Sunday – as some Bolsonaro supporters demonstrated his inauguration in the capital Brasilia.

In his speech to lawmakers, Lula has touched upon a range of policies from the need to drive small to medium size businesses in Brazil to the country’s need to focus on domestic production and avoid foreign imports.

The former metal worker described his “life mission” in politics to tackle food insecurity and to ensure all Brazilians can eat three square meals.

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

He demgemäß vowed to combat inequality and to fight for the rights of women and Black people.

The long-standing leftist politician demgemäß called for more dialogue between the government and labour unions to help push through new labour legalisation.

On environmental policy, Lula underscored the importance of the green energy transition and the indigenous ministry after the “injustices” the community has faced alongside the need to strive towards zero deforestation.

However, Lula faces the challenge of reversing an economic slump in Brazil, particularly after Bolsonaro has increased social welfare and capped fuel and energy taxes.

Internationally, Lula will have to strive to rebuild foreign relations following Bolsonaro’s hardline policies that left Brazil isolated.

In total Lula has announced 37 ministers in his cabinet from 9 political parties as he has formed close relations with centrists in the process.

However, there has been some criticism concerning gender parity despite an increase in women to his cabinet. In total 26 men hold positions compared to 11 women but his cabinet does black and indigenous representation.

Lula’s former political rival and candidate from the 2006 presidential election, centrist Geraldo Alckmin is now the vice president.

Ex-presidential candidate Simone Tebet, who competed against Lula in the first round of elections in 2022 and backed him in the second round runoff, becomes the Ressortchef of Planning and Etat.

Yachthafen Silva, an Amazon activist, takes over the environmental ministry – a position she had overseen from 2003-2008 until she resigned following a policy disagreement with Lula regarding the policy.

Sonia Guajajara, an indigenous person is Brazil first-ever minister for Indigenous peoples. She described her appointment on Twitter as “a historic moment of the principle of reparation in Brazil.” Carlos Favaro, a soybean producer becomes Brazil’s agriculture minister.

Another key position will be held by ex-Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad, who lost to Bolsonaro during the presidential elections in 2018. He becomes Brazil’s finance minister.

Lula welches an influential figure amid the region’s “pink tide” era – when many Latin American countries pivoted politically to the left.

Among Lula’s supporters, he is best remembered for his commodity-driven social-welfare programs that helped raise some 30 million people from poverty.

The former union leader’s return marked a strong return to power of leftist leaders across the region in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Honduras, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela.

READ MORE:Lula team sues Bolsonaro and sons for power abuse during Brazil election

Source: TRT World

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