President Alberto Fernández has offered his congratulations to his “dear” friend Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva after the former Brazil president finished in first place in the country’s election.
Lula, who served as president of Argentina’s giant neighbour from 2003 to 2010, won the first round but will now face a run-off vote on October 30 against his far-right rival Jair Bolsonaro.
With 99.43 percent of the polling stations counted, Lula has 48.29 percent of the vote compared to Bolsonaro’s 43.32 percent, according to Brazil’s election authorities.
"I congratulate my dear Lula on his victory in the first round and convey my sincere respect to the people of Brazil for their profound democratic expression," Fernández wrote in a post on Twitter.
He accompanied the message with a photo of the two leaders greeting each other warmly, taken during the ex-Brazil leader’s trip to Buenos Aires in December, 2021.
Fernández has a very good relationship with the Workers’ Party (PT) leader and was a strong backer of Lula’s when the former president was jailed in a corruption case in which he was later released on procedural grounds.
Argentina’s president was not the only local politician to comment on Brazil’s election. National lawmaker Máximo Kirchner posted an image of Lula campaigning to support the former president, while Buenos Aires Province Governor Axel Kicillof shared an image of himself with the hopeful, accompanied by the caption: "Congratulations to the people of Brazil for the democratic moment."
Economy Minister Sergio Massa shared a similar post, adding: "Immense Lula."
A number of key figures from the opposition Juntos por el Cambio alliance also posted messages in response to the results, with ex-vice-presidential candidate Miguel Ángel Pichetto expressing his support for Bolsonaro and his campaign.
"Jair Bolsonaro's victory would be important for Brazil. Maintaining the economic course achieved, the growth of GDP and the reduction of insecurity would be positive not only for the sister nation but also for the whole region," wrote Pichetto.
Provincial Senator Joaquín de la Torre, who recently joined Patricia Bullrich's team, wrote that Bolsonaro is an "example that ultra-deep change is possible." He accompanied the post with a video of ex-US president Donald Trump, who endorsed Bolsonaro's candidacy last week.
Juntos por el Cambio as a whole posted a message highlighting the importance of ties with Brazil, though it did not express a preference for a particular candidate.