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Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva sworn in as Brazil's president

Brazil’s Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has been sworn in as president in the capital, Brasilia, assuming office for the third time. 

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

In a speech, the former factory worker promised to lead Brazil into a new chapter of environmental protection and social progress with what he calls a “rational democratic” government.

The leftist defeated far-right Bolsonaro in the 30 October 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 reluctant to accept the loss.

There was tight security for the ceremony amid fears of disruption by Bolsonaro supporters.

Lula did not mention his predecessor by name in his address. But he detailed the damage of the previous administration during which nearly 700,000 Brazilians died from a Covid-19 outbreak, and Amazon deforestation soared.

Bolsonaro skipped the inauguration and is believed to have taken a military jet to Florida at the end of December.

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