Brazil’s presidential election enters second round

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Brazil’s polarized presidential race is heading into a second runoff after no candidate won more than 50 percent of the vote, with long lines at polling booths and millions of people voting.

Left-wing candidate and former president Luis Inacio “Lula” da Silva has a slight lead over the right-wing incumbent, with more than 99 percent of the vote tallied on Sunday night, according to results released by Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court (TSE). Bolsonaro. — but not enough to cross the threshold of victory.

The latest official tally put Lula in the lead with 48.4 percent of the vote, compared with 43.2 percent for Bolsonaro, a divisive figure often referred to as the “Trump of the Tropics”. .

Bolsonaro’s result was 8 percentage points higher than the latest Datafolha poll released on Saturday, while Lula’s result was 2 to 3 percentage points lower than the poll had predicted.

Lula told reporters in Sao Paulo on Sunday night that he was confident of winning the second round of voting on October 30.

“It will be important (for the second round) because we will have the opportunity to have a face-to-face debate with the current president to see if he will continue to lie,” Brazil’s leader Lula said. 2002-2010.

Former Brazilian President Luis Inacio

In a brief news conference on Sunday, Bolsonaro said the vote reflected the poor economic conditions felt by poorer Brazilians and promised to appeal to voters worried about rising prices.

“We have a second round and everything has become the same, the (television commercial) timing has become the same for both sides. Now we will be better at showing the Brazilian people, especially the most affected sectors, ‘Stay home, we We’ll see the consequences of economic’ policies later,” Bolsonaro said.

Bolsonaro, who has often discredited Brazil’s electoral system and threatened not to accept the results, managed to defeat Lula in the country’s most populous southeastern state.

More than 123 million Brazilians lined up to vote in the world’s fourth-largest democracy, while another 32 million abstained. According to TSE president Alexandre de Moraes, the large queues were caused by new biometric security checks and higher-than-expected voter turnout.

Several other presidential candidates are also in the running, but are well behind the two front-runners.

Simone Tebette of Brazil’s Democratic Movement came third with 4.1 percent of the valid votes and Ciro Gomez of the Democratic Labour Party with 3.05 percent of the vote.

Gomez told a news conference on Sunday that he was “deeply concerned” by Brazil’s political polarization. “I have never seen a situation so complex, so challenging, so potentially threatening our nation’s destiny,” he said.

“We don’t want more discord, we want a country where we live in peace,” Lula told reporters on Sunday after voting at a school in Sao Paulo with his wife, Rosangela da Silva. Important election. I’m very happy.”

He also referred to the 2018 election, when he was unable to run or vote due to a corruption conviction overturned last year.

“Four years ago, I couldn’t vote because I was a victim of this country’s lies. Four years later, I’m voting here, acknowledging my full freedom and potentially becoming president of the republic again in this country, trying to get this country back Normal,” Lula said.

Supporters of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro pray as they listen to partial results after polls in Brasilia's general election on October 2, 2022.

While nearly a dozen candidates were on the ballot, the race was dominated from the start by Lula and Bolsonaro, two Brazilian political titans involved in a battle between fierce verbal attacks and rival supporters A series of violent incidents marked a scarred campaign season.

Bolsonaro, 67, is running for re-election under the conservative Liberal Party. He works to increase mining, privatize public companies and produce more sustainable energy to lower energy prices. He has vowed to continue paying a monthly benefit of 600 reais (about $110), known as Auxilio Brasil.

His government is known for supporting the relentless development of Amazonian land, which has led to record numbers of deforestation. Environmentalists have warned that the election could jeopardize the future of the rainforest.

Bolsonaro has also been widely criticized for his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. More than 686,000 people have died from the virus in Brazil.

Lula, 76, has focused his campaign on removing Bolsonaro and highlighted his achievements throughout the campaign.

He left office in 2011 with a 90 percent approval rating, credited in large part to lifting millions of Brazilians out of extreme poverty through the “Bolsa Familia” welfare program.

His campaign has promised a new tax system that would allow for higher public spending. He vowed to end hunger in the country, which returned during the Bolsonaro government. Lula also pledged to work on reducing carbon emissions and deforestation in the Amazon.

Lula, however, is no stranger to controversy either. In 2017, he was convicted of corruption and money laundering in connection with the extensive “Operation Car Wash” investigation of state oil company Petrobras. But after less than two years in office, the Supreme Court justice vacated Lula’s conviction in March 2021, clearing the way for his sixth presidential bid.

Follower of former Brazilian President Luis Inacio

Bolsonaro, accused of angering supporters with violent rhetoric, sought to cast doubt on the results, saying the results should be considered dubious if he did not receive “at least 60 percent” support.

On Saturday, he reiterated that he expected to win the first round of the presidential election “by more than 60 percent”, despite trailing by 14 points in the latest polls for the day.

Both Bolsonaro and his Liberal Party have claimed Brazil’s electronic voting system is vulnerable to fraud – a completely unfounded allegation that has been compared to former US President Donald Trump’s false election claims.

There have been no confirmed cases of voter fraud in Brazil’s electronic ballots.

The Supreme Electoral Court also rejected claims that the system was flawed, saying it was “false and untrue, and has no basis in reality”.

Source link