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Lula sworn in as Brazilian President, Bolsonaro flies to US


Picture Courtesy: Reuters

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been sworn in as the new president of Brazil. This is the third time he has held the country's highest office. In his first speech, Lula vowed to rebuild a country in "terrible ruins”.


He is a veteran left-wing politician who led the country between 2003 and 2010 - and defeated Jair Bolsonaro in October's poll. He decried the policies of his predecessor, who went to the US on Friday to avoid the handover ceremony.


More than 60 artists - including Samba legend Martinho da Vila - were booked to perform on two giant stages decorated in the national flag as part of a music festival dubbed “Lulapalooza". Lula and incoming Vice-President Geraldo Alckmin paraded through the city on an open-top convertible before proceeding to the Congress building - where the swearing-in occurred at the start of the formal inauguration ceremony.

In another 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, which was repeated during his speech to reach "zero deforestation" in the Amazon by 2030.

The state of Brasilia deployed "100%" of its police force - around 8,000 officers - to the city amid fears that some supporters of Mr Bolsonaro could seek to disrupt proceedings. One man was arrested trying to enter the area of the inauguration carrying a knife and fireworks earlier on Sunday, Brazil's military police said.


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