Biden congratulates Lula on victory over Trump-backed Bolsonaro in Brazil

President Biden on Sunday congratulated Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on his victory in Brazil's presidential election, defeating incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, who is backed by former President Donald Trump.

Bolsonaro, like Trump, has sown doubts about the integrity of his country's electoral system. Biden called Brazil's election "free, fair and credible" in his statement Sunday.

"I look forward to working together to continue cooperation between our two countries in the months and years to come," Biden said of Lula.

With nearly 100 percent of the vote counted on Sunday night, Lula got 50.9 percent of the vote compared to 49.1 percent for Bolsonaro.

The former president and incumbent were the top two candidates in general elections earlier this month, advancing to Sunday's second round.

Lula was previously president of Brazil from 2003 to 2010, leading his left-wing Labor Party to surge in popularity.

However, after leaving his post, he became entangled in a massive corruption scandal that landed him in prison for 19 months. A Supreme Court judge overturned his sentence in March 2021, freeing him to run for president again.

Bolsonaro has been called the "Trump of the tropics" and has been a deeply divisive president, battling with the country's Supreme Court, overseeing massive logging of the Amazon rainforest and spreading skepticism about COVID-19 and vaccines.

Trump on Sunday morning urged Brazilian voters to return Bolsonaro to the office of president.

“To the Brazilian people, this is your big day, and also, a big day for the World. Your GREAT and Highly Respected President, Jair Bolsonaro, needs you to come out and Vote, TODAY, so that your Country can continue on its extraordinary path of success,” Trump wrote.

“Don't let Radical Left Mad & Maniacs destroy Brazil like they have so many other countries.”

Lula promised increased taxes on the rich and improved government services for the poor during the campaign, but offered few specifics.

Bolsonaro's warnings about election fraud have sparked fears that he will refuse to accept his defeat on Sunday.

As of 8:30 p.m. EST Sunday evening, Bolsonara has not publicly responded to the results.

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