Brazil Election: Bolsonaro And Lula Face-Off In Rerun
The acrimonious Brazilian presidential race, in which former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and the far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, will go to a second round. The former president failed to secure the majority needed for him to avoid a runoff with the incumbent.
With only 0.5% of votes left to be counted, it is certain that the leftist veteran will have to face his rightwing rival in the 30 October runoff. Though Bolsonaro had a surprisingly successful election campaign, he won 43% of the vote and not enough to avoid the runoff against his opponent who received 48%.
Lula stated that he intends to never stop fighting to protect the rights of the Brazilian people, and will defend the gains that have been made over the past 14 years.
Lula, who was barred from the 2018 election, vowed to win on corrupted charges, which were later overturned. This is an extra time for him.
On the night of Brazil’s presidential election Lula said he was hopeful for a first-round victory. If a second round is needed Lula claimed that he too will double his efforts to reclaim power.
“I feel great hope that this election will be decided tomorrow, but if it isn’t we’ll have to behave like a football team when a match goes to extra time. We’ll rest for 15 minutes and then we’ll get back out on to the pitch to score the goals we didn’t score in normal time,” he told reporters.
Gleisi Hoffmann, the president of Lula’s Workers’ party, told reporters the campaign was neither “sad or downcast” at the result and pointed to Lula’s more than 56 million votes.
“Congratulations, president Lula, for your victory,” she declared.
Many Brazilians had been rooting for an emphatic victory over Bolsonaro because he has attacked democracy in the past and vandalized Brazil’s international reputation. But this was not to be, as his election became a major setback for progressive views.
Bolsonaro is accused of threatening Brazil’s environment and mishandling a Covid epidemic, which killed nearly 700,000 people.
Bolsonaro emphasized that his dedication to the poorest sectors is a great commitment to convince them.
Brazil should avoid copying neighbouring countries, who recently elected new president, e.g. Chile and Colombia. Brazil has to be careful because they can’t risk losing what they’ve built from scratch (e.g. rich democracy).
Bolsonaro hints he will not step down if defeated, raising the possibility of a Trump-like insurrection among his supporters if Lula wins.
Prominent Bolsonaristas were elected to Brazil’s Congress and as state governors, including Bolsonaro’s former Health Minister, Eduardo Pazuello, who became a Congressman for Rio, and his former Environment Minister Ricardo Salles.
Pazuello, who was Bolsonaro’s health minister during the height of the pandemic, promoted quack cures such as hydroxychloroquine.
Other ministers were accused of a rise in the deforestation of the Amazon. According to police investigations, the minister was making it difficult for environmental crimes to be investigated. An investigation showed that the charges were unfounded.
The Bolsonaro-supporting governor, Cláudio Castro, was re-elected and the Bolsonaro-controversial former minister, Damares Alves, claimed a place in the senate.
Tarcísio de Freitas, Bolsonaro’s candidate for São Paulo governorship also succeeded better than expected. He will face Fernando Haddad in a second round, as Lula’s ally.