Brazil’s Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has been sworn in as president in the capital, Brasilia, assuming office for the third time after thwarting outgoing incumbent Jair Bolsonaro’s reelection bid.
Lula was president from 2003-2010, and his return to power marks the culmination of a political comeback that is both thrilling supporters and enraging opponents in a fiercely polarized nation.
His presidency is unlikely to be similar to his previous two mandates, coming after the tightest presidential race in more than three decades in Brazil and resistance to his taking office by some of his opponents.
The leftist defeated far-right President Jair Bolsonaro in the Oct. 30 vote by less than 2 percentage points. For months, Bolsonaro had sown doubts about the reliability of Brazil’s electronic vote and his loyal supporters were loath to accept the loss.
Many have gathered outside military barracks since, questioning results and pleading with the armed forces to prevent Lula from taking office.
His most die-hard backers resorted to what some authorities and incoming members of Lula’s administration labeled acts of “terrorism” – something the country had not seen since the early 1980s, and which have prompted growing security concerns about inauguration day events.