Published: Mon, October 29, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Brazil Elects Far-Right Populist Jair Bolsonaro

Brazil Elects Far-Right Populist Jair Bolsonaro

Voting for the presidency is in full swing in Brazil, Latin America's largest nation.

The campaign gained momentum by winning over much of the business community with promises of enacting market-friendly reforms that would reduce the size of the Brazilian state, including cutting ministries and privatizing state companies. He's now been announced as the president-elect.

Bolsonaro had a wide lead in the first round of the elections held on October 7, winning 46 percent of valid votes, while Haddad had 29 percent.

"I still have hope Haddad can turn this around", said Mario Victor Santos, 58, former ombudsman for the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, which Bolsonaro has repeatedly claimed spread "fake news" about him.

Supporters of right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro of PSL party celebrate victory in the presidential elections on October 28, 2018 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Bolsonaro conducted his entire campaign on social media since an attacker stabbed him in the stomach at a rally in early September, sending him to hospital for three weeks.

"God willing, (it) will be our new independence day", he tweeted. "We have had enough corruption and now we need to clean up". "The technique is to use people who speak for you but don't speak for you", said Taylor. "I always felt the presence of God and the force of the Brazilian people", he said.

Meanwhile, polling revealed an increase in support for Jair Bolsonaro.

In addition, the transition period until January 1, when he will be sworn in to replace outgoing President Michel Temer, now gives Mr. Bolsonaro time to "reconfigure" and soften some of his more extreme talking points and positions, Almeida noted.

The live broadcast of his speech was preceded by a prayer led by lawmaker, pastor and gospel singer Magno Malta, underscoring Bolsonaro's ties to evangelical churches that backed him for his pledge to defend Christian values, including his stance against abortion.

"We can not continue flirting with socialism, communism, populism and leftist extremism".

Bolsonaro outrages a large part of the electorate - and many outside the country - with his overtly misogynistic, homophobic and racist rhetoric.

In Brazil the vote in the second round of the presidential election.

His opponent, Fernando Haddad of the leftist Workers Party (PT) had received 44 percent. He has run largely as a stand-in for Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the popular former president, whose re-election bid was upended when he landed in jail this year on corruption charges.

"In 16 years of the (Workers' Party), I have been robbed, but never threatened", Neto said by Twitter.

Haddad, who lacks Lula's natural charisma, has struggled to unite opposition to Bolsonaro, despite mounting fears over what the former army officer's presidency would look like.

Many Brazilians are concerned that Bolsonaro, an admirer of Brazil's 1964-1985 military dictatorship and a defender of its use of torture on leftist opponents, will trample on human rights, curtail civil liberties and muzzle freedom of speech.

But his law-and-order message has resonated.

The election was decided as much by Brazilians voting against something as for it.

"But I want to vote Haddad, because Bolsonaro's discourse of hate and intolerance is a risk for our country".

"It used to be people would actually vote for what they wanted, and not just against something", he said.

Far-right former Army captain Jair Bolsonaro voted in a military compound in Rio de Janeiro surrounded by security and supporters who shouted his name.

The environmental group Amazon Watch warned victory for Bolsonaro - who has vowed not to let conservation programs interfere with agro-industry - "spells disaster for the Brazilian Amazon".

The political system and the party that has ruled Brazil for 13 of the last 15 years, the Workers' Party (PT), are the main figures that led to Bolsonaro's anti-system discourse having broad acceptance among voters.

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