Sao Paulo CNN  — 

Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva has been elected the next president of Brazil, in a stunning comeback following a tight run-off race on Sunday. His victory heralds a political about-face for Latin America’s largest country, after four years of Jair Bolsonaro’s far-right administration.

The 76-year-old politician’s win represents the return of the left into power in Brazil, and concludes a triumphant personal comeback for Lula da Silva, after a series of corruption allegations lead to his imprisonment for 580 days. The sentences were later annulled by the Supreme Court, clearing his path to run for reelection.

“They tried to bury me alive and I’m here,” he said in a jubilant speech to supporters and journalists on Sunday evening, describing the win as his political “resurrection.”

“Starting on January 1, 2023, I will govern for the 215 million Brazilians, not just the ones who voted for me. There are not two Brazils. We are one country, one people, one great nation,” Lula da Silva also said.

He will take the reins of a country plagued by gross inequality that is still struggling to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. Approximately 9.6 million people fell under the poverty line between 2019 and 2021, and literacy and school attendance rates have fallen. He will also be faced with a deeply fractured nation and urgent environmental issues, including rampant deforestation in the Amazon.

This will be his third term, after previously governing Brazil for two consecutive terms between 2003 and 2010.

Supporters of Lula da Silva react as they wait for results at Paulista Avenue, Sao Paulo, Brazil, October 30, 2022.

The latest in a leftist wave

The former leader’s victory on Sunday was the latest in a political wave across Latin America, with wins by left-leaning politicians in Argentina, Colombia and Chile. But Lula da Silva – a former union leader with a blue-collar background – has sought to reassure moderates throughout his campaign.

He has built a broad alliance including several politicians from the center and center-right, including historical opponents from the PSDB, Brazil’s Social Democrat Party. Among these politicians is his vice-president, former São Paulo governor Geraldo Alckmin, who has been cited by the Lula camp as a guarantee of moderation in his administration.

On the campaign trail, Lula da Silva has been reluctant to show his cards when it came to outlining an economic strategy – a tendency that earned sharp criticism from his competitors. “Who is the other candidate’s economy minister? There isn’t one, he doesn’t say. What will be his political and economic route? More state? Less state? We don’t know…,” said Bolsonaro during a live transmission on YouTube on October 22.

Lula da Silva has said that he would push Congress to approve a tax reform which would exempt low