Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Brazil’s far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro works on a coalition

2eadebc0 Brazil’s right-wing Bolsonaro narrowly misses first round win in presidential election
| 09 October, 2018, 11:31

Brazil's far-right presidential candidate, Jair Bolsonaro has fallen short of the threshold - 50% plus one vote to avoid an October 28th run-off against his nearest rival, left-wing candidate, Fernando Haddad.

Mr Bolsonaro obtained 46.7 percent of the votes in Sunday's first-round vote, while Mr Haddad, the stand-in for jailed ex-President Luiz Inacio da Silva, got 28.37 percent, the president of the country's top electoral court said on Sunday.

In what is likely to be a deeply polarizing runoff, Bolsonaro, an outspoken apologist for Brazil's 1964-1985 military dictatorship, will now face leftist Fernando Haddad, the former mayor of Sao Paulo, in a second round of voting on October 28.

Brazilian markets rose on Monday after far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro ran up a huge lead in the first round of voting, boosting investors' hopes that he will tackle a growing fiscal deficit and privatize key companies.

"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.

Reflecting confidence that he will win the second round, Bolsonaro said he had already begun talks with other lawmakers in Congress to build an eventual governing coalition.

The Workers' Party took to Twitter on Monday with a rallying cry to all those who believe in democracy and vowed to unify the country.

Asked whom he would endorse, Gomes referred to the slogan of anti-Bolsonaro protesters in recent weeks: "Not him, certainly".

"Bolsonaro is accelerating the rupture of Brazilians into two antagonistic camps", said Robert Muggah, director of the Igarapé Institute, a Rio de Janeiro-based think tank that specializes in security issues.


The tally was even higher in the presidential candidate's home state of Rio de Janeiro, where his party got almost 23 percent of votes for the lower house. That year, millions of people took to the streets to protest corruption, increases in fares on public transport and the construction of expensive stadiums for the World Cup.

Before the vote, polls had given Bolsonaro a roof of about 40 percent; many analysts expected him to score no higher than 35 percent.

That made Bolsonaro the odds-on favorite in a runoff election later this month that could hurl Brazil into new political territory.

In the most polarized election since the end of military rule in 1985, Bolsonaro is backed by a group of retired generals who have criticized the 2003-2016 Workers Party governments and publicly advocate military intervention if corruption continues.

Front-runner Jair Bolsonaro, who some call a tropical Trump, has surged in opinion polls in the past week.

"Haddad's chance of victory depends much more on the performance of Bolsonaro than his own".

"A lot of young people are voting for him".

He is riding a wave of anger at the establishment after the uncovering of one of the world's largest political graft schemes, opposition to a return to power by the leftist Workers Party (PT) blamed for much of that corruption, and fears about spiking crime in the country with more murders than any other.

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