Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva beat far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil’s runoff presidential election Sunday, in what some have called the country’s most important polls since its return to democracy.
Lula will become Brazil's 39th president on Jan. 1, 2023 after serving as the nation’s 35th president from 2003 to 2010.
"I consider that I had a process of resurrection in Brazilian politics. They tried to bury me alive, and now I'm here to rule the country. In a very difficult situation, but I am sure that with the help of the people, we will find a way out and restore peace," he wrote on Twitter.
During his previous mandate, Lula helped lift around 30 million Brazilians out of poverty with a number of social programs.
He remained a popular leader who oversaw a strong economy with high approval ratings when he left office on Dec. 31, 2010.
Lula, a former union leader, ran in the 2018 presidential election until a graft and money laundering conviction curtailed his political aspirations. He was sent to prison and Bolsonaro, a former army captain, won the presidency.
In 2019, Lula was released from prison after the ruling against him was overturned by the Supreme Court, allowing him to run for office again.