How an Ex-president Who Had Been Jailed Rose Back to Power over Brazil's Far Right

By John Otis

"Lula is a major-league negotiator," said AS/COA's Cecilia Tornaghi to NPR.

He won by a razor-thin margin over an opponent who refuses to concede. He'll take over a deeply polarized country with a troubled economy. And while some Brazilians are hopeful he can put the country back on track, others view him as a crook.

Despite engineering a stunning political comeback by winning the presidency in Sunday's runoff election over far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva could face a short honeymoon — and a long four years in office.

"He's going to have a very hard job rebuilding the country," said Cecilia Tornaghi, a Brazil expert and managing editor of the journal Americas Quarterly. "It's a win — but who would want this kind of victory?"

Da Silva will take it. […]

Tornaghi of Americas Quarterly points out that the president-elect is a pragmatic former union boss and a skilled dealmaker. Referring to him by his nickname, she said: "Lula is a major-league negotiator."…

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