Lula Is President
By Luis A. Gómez
Andean Bureau Chief
October 27, 2002
From Sao Paulo
1. It Happened
That’s how it is, kind leaders: IT HAPPENED. An hour ago the official results showed an irreversible tendency: Come
February, Lula will be the new president of Brazil. In the streets of every city of this great country the people
celebrate, sing and dance over the victory that, as the leader of the Workers Party (PT) has said, belongs to every one
of them… Brazil has exchanged its face for an enormous smile tonight.
With more than 90 percent of the vote counted, Lula has 61.5 percent… With this, the Supreme Electoral Court declared
him, an hour ago, as president-elect. And we can cite a record, that previously belonged to the neo-fascist Reagan: an
ex metalworker can become the most voted-for president in the history of this world… he would need a little more than 54
million votes, and as things are going, it seems he is going to break that record.
Minutes ago, José Dirceu arrived at the Intercontinental Hotel, where Lula will give his first press conference as
president-elect in a half hour, and then lead the parade onto Paulista Avenue of this city to celebrate with his people
(at this moment, there are also fiestas in Fleme Beach of Rio de Janeiro, and in every corner of the country). Dirceu
has said that the transition work has already begun and that “the real work begins today”… And he’s right, because
tonight Brazil must wait three months for the new government, three months in which there will be political and economic
difficulties, with a government that will play a destabilizing game to put stones in the road of popular will.
On every corner people are found with red clothes and flags (with the star of the Workers Party in the middle). This
country is living hours of profound fiesta, of democratic enjoyment over the election of an ex metalworker. Hundreds of
thousands of people dance to the same rhythm and seen that it already happened: “Now, it’s Lula”… Nobody can silence
Brazil in its song, in its cry of dignity.
The congratulations have already begin to come in. The first, from Washington DC, where the White House spokesman
congratulated the new president in Bush’s name, saying that the Lord of War anxiously wants to work with the new
government… We hope he can at least learn something from Brazil about how to win an election cleanly… and that he won’t
screw us… that would be enough.
Looking and smiling upon the new hope for our América, that crosses the streets dancing, with a red star on its breast…
The best thing to do right know is join the party, kind readers, raise your cups and say SALUD! Viva Lula! Viva Brazil!
Viva democracy!... and, also, smile…