Lula inauguration: Man carrying explosive device and knife arrested, military police say

A man carrying an explosive device and a knife has been arrested while attempting to enter the inauguration of Brazil's new president, according to military police.

The man was trying to enter Brasilia's esplanade for the inauguration of President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, according to a spokesperson from the city's military police force.

As many as 300,000 people gathered along the esplanade to celebrate following the ceremony in Brazil's Congress.

Veteran left-wing politician Mr da Silva was sworn in today in the Brazilian capital, with police on heightened alert due to significant political tensions in the country.

The 77-year-old assumed office for the third time, having narrowly beaten right-wing outgoing president Jair Bolsonaro in last October's election.

Mr da Silva won back the presidency after stepping down in 2018 following his imprisonment over a corruption scandal which sidelined him from that year's election.

Mr da Silva's convictions were annulled, but he faced an uphill battle, when he decided to re-run for president, with many millions of Brazilians continuing to believe he was corrupt.

It led to one of the most polarising elections in Brazil's history, pitting left-wing Mr da Silva and right-wing Mr Bolsonaro, and their vastly different visions for the country, against each other.

Read more:
Jair Bolsonaro wants swathes of votes voided as he contests Brazil election loss
Bolsonaro's seething supporters refuse to accept Brazil's election result

Brazil's Supreme Electoral Court's count showed it was an extremely close contest - Mr da Silva polled 50.9% of votes compared with 49.1% for Mr Bolsonaro, with all of the voting machines counted.

More than three weeks after losing his re-election bid, Mr Bolsonaro blamed a software bug and demanded that swathes of votes be voided.

Mr Bolsonaro had spent more than a year claiming Brazil's electronic voting system is prone to fraud, without ever presenting evidence.

There were significant tensions in Brazil following Mr da Silva's election victory, with truckers supportive of Bolsonaro blocking roads across the country.

While some of his supporters did accept defeat, others did not. Some of his supporters took to the streets of São Paulo and 70 other cities across Brazil to protest the result.

Others gathered outside military barracks, questioning results and pleading with the armed forces to prevent Mr da Silva from taking office.