Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Bolsonaro fails to win outright victory in the presidential election

Brazil’s right-wing Bolsonaro narrowly misses first round win in presidential election Brazil election: Right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro wins 47 per cent of the vote, on track for run-off
Kenny Thornton | 09 October, 2018, 11:31

Far-right Congressman and former Army captain Jair Bolsonaro won almost half the votes in Brazil's first-round presidential election on Sunday, as voters' anger at corruption drove a major shift to the right in Latin America's largest nation. He said he was confident he had the majority of valid votes necessary to clinch the race without a runoff vote on October 28, avoiding a showdown with the leftist Workers Party (PT).

Jair Bolsonaro, whose last-minute surge nearly gave him an electoral stunner, had 46pc compared to 29pc for former Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad, according to figures from Brazil's Superior Electoral Tribunal with 99.9pc of the vote counted. "So I made a decision to vote for Bolsonaro, who is the only one who can block the return of the Workers' Party". The clear probability is that after Brazil's run off vote in three weeks, Jair Bolsonaro will be the latest in a slew of anti-establishment leaders to take office around the world.

Fernando Haddad, who cast his ballot in São Paulo, gestured towards rival candidates Ciro Gomes, Marina Silva, and Henrique Meirelles, in a bid to win their support for the runoff.

He won 46.3 percent of votes in yesterday's first round, well ahead of former Sao Paulo mayor Fernando Haddad's 29 percent but short of the outright majority needed to avoid a second round. His supporters blame the PT, which ruled Brazil for 13 of the past 15 years, along with reckless economic policies that contributed to Brazil's worst recession in a generation.

"I can't turn into a Little "Peace and Love" Jair, which would be betraying who I am", Bolsonaro said in a radio interview.

"He will also have to try to attack Bolsonaro on issues that actually affect the mindset of the voter".

Lula was blocked from the race after being sentenced to 12 years in prison on corruption charges in one of the world's biggest-ever political graft scandals.

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But his track record of fiery anti-democratic rhetoric, calls for police to kill as many criminals as possible, and offensive comments on women and minorities have alarmed former presidents and observers across the political spectrum. Bolsonaro has said he would rather have a dead son than a gay one and told a fellow lawmaker in Congress that she was "too ugly" to be raped.

Nearly two-thirds of the electorate are concentrated in the more populous south and southeast of Brazil where its biggest cities, Sao Paulo and Rio Janeiro, are located - and where Bolsonaro holds a commanding lead. "He better be, because just us isn't enough", joked Gilberto Carvalho, a former PT minister and senior party member.

But a Haddad voter, Jose Dias, said it would be a "catastrophe" if Bolsonaro triumphed.

"I am certain that if this hadn't happened, we would have known the name of the president of the republic tonight", Bolsonaro said in a live Facebook video feed. They sent precisely the two candidates who most polarize the population to a runoff election, thus aggravating the country's problems still further.

They underestimated Bolsonaro and overestimated the traditional parties as well as - most crucially - the effectiveness of television advertising in the election.

Thirty parties won seats in the lower house, up from 25 represented there before the vote.

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