Lula Sworn In As Brazil President For Third Time

LUIZ Inacio Lula da Silva has been sworn in as the new president of Brazil – the third time he has held the country’s highest office.

The veteran left-wing politician, known widely as Lula, also led the country between 2003 and 2010 – and defeated Jair Bolsonaro in October’s poll.

There has been tight security for the ceremony amid fears that Bolsonaro supporters may try to disrupt it.

Mr Bolsonaro himself did not attend, having left Brazil on Friday.

A sea of Lula supporters gathered in front of Congress since early in the morning – decked out in the red colour of his Workers’ Party. They travelled to see their leader sworn in – but also for a celebration.

More than 60 artists – including Samba legend Martinho da Vila – are due to perform on two giant stages decorated in the national flag as part of a music festival dubbed “Lulapalooza”.

“Love has won over hate,” read one banner carried by a man dressed as Lula – complete with a presidential sash.

“Brazil needed this change, this transformation,” said another backer of the incoming leader as she queued for Sunday’s festivities.

Juliana Barreto – who is from Lula’s home state Pernambuco – told the BBC that her country was “a disaster” previously.

Lula and incoming Vice-President Geraldo Alckmin paraded through the city on an open-top convertible before proceeding to the Senate – at the start of the formal inauguration ceremony.

The men have spent the past days selecting their cabinet and appointing supporters to key state owned businesses.

In a noted change of policy from the Bolsonaro administration, Marina Silva – one of Brazil’s best known climate activists – was re-appointed to head the environment and climate ministry. She will be expected to achieve Lula’s pledge to reach “zero deforestation” in the Amazon by 2030.

More than 300,000 people were expected to flock to the capital for the inauguration, which will take place at Esplanade of Ministries, home to the country’s congress buildings.

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