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AFP; MAIL & GUARDIAN, NEWS24 (South Africa); SOWETAN LIVE(Soweto)

Worldcrunch

JOHANNESBURG - Former South African President Nelson Mandela has been admitted to hospital with a recurrent lung infection. The news was confirmed by current President Jacob Zuma’s office on Thursday morning, according to Cape Town’s News24.

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Mandela in 2008. Photo by South Africa The Good News

The 94-year old anti-apartheid hero was hospitalized late Wednesday night and President Zuma wished Madiba, as he is fondly known in South Africa, a speedy recovery.

"We appeal to the people of South Africa and the world to pray for our beloved Madiba and his family and to keep them in their thoughts. We have full confidence in the medical team and know that they will do everything possible to ensure recovery," President Zuma said.

This is the second time this month that the Nobel peace laureate has spent the night in hospital, says the AFP, and follows a nearly three-week stay in December for the lung infection and surgery to extract gallstones.

South African daily the Mail and Guardian notes that his December stay was the longest hospital stint since he was freed from Robben Island in 1990. Mandela has a history of lung problems after he suffered tuberculosis in 1988 after 25 years spent in prison.

[rebelmouse-image 27086540 alt="""" original_size="320x214" expand=1]

Mandela's cell on Robben Island. Photo by Paul Mannix

The Sowetan Live reports that Mandela’s last major public appearance was nearly three years ago, at the FIFA World Cup Final in July 2010. Having served as South Africa's president from 1994 to 1999, Mandela now spends his time in his childhood home of Qunu, a rural village in the Eastern Cape province.

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Geopolitics

What Lula Needs Now To Win: Move To The Center And Mea Culpa

Despite the leftist candidate's first-place finish, the voter mood in Brazil's presidential campaign is clearly conservative. So Lula will have to move clearly to the political center to vanquish the divisive but still popular Jair Bolsonaro. He also needs to send a message of contrition to skeptical voters about past mistakes.

Brazilian votes show a polarized national opinion with two clear winners: former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and sitting president Jair Bolsonaro

Marcelo Cantelmi

-Analysis-

The first round of Brazil's presidential elections closed with two winners, a novelty but not necessarily a political surprise.

Leftist candidate and former president, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, was clearly the winner. His victory came on the back of the successes of his two previous administrations (2003-2011), kept alive today by the harsh reality that large swathes of Brazilians see no real future for themselves.

Lula, the head of the Workers Party or PT, also moved a tad toward the political Center in a bid to seduce middle-class voters, with some success. Another factor in his first-round success was a decisive vote cast against the current government, though this was less considerable than anticipated.

The other big winner of the day was the sitting president, Jair Bolsonaro. For many voters, his defects turn out to be virtues. They were little concerned by his bombastic declarations, his authoritarian bent, contempt for modernity, his retrograde views on gender and his painful management of the pandemic. They do not believe in Lula, and envisage no other alternative.

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