Former leftist president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva won the first round of Brazil’s presidential election on Sunday. At the end of October, he will again face right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro in a second round of voting.
98% of the votes have now been counted. Lula received 48.1 percent of the vote, according to the Brazilian electoral authority, Bolsonaro 43.5 percent.
Because the difference between the two candidates is less than expected, a crucial vote will be held on October 30.
Lula and Bolsonaro are opposites
Eleven Brazilians have presented themselves as presidential candidates. But only current President Bolsonaro and Lula had a serious chance.
Bolsonaro, 67, was elected president in 2018, but has failed to improve living standards in Brazil. He is regularly criticized for his racist and sexist comments. He has also systematically dismantled the protection of the Amazon rainforest since 2018.
Lula wants to give environmental enforcement a new boost. He was in power in Brazil from 2003 to 2010 and was a popular president. The 76-year-old Brazilian managed to improve the economic situation, among other things. But the economy deteriorated after his reign. The former president was also accused of corruption, having spent 19 months in prison. His conviction was later overturned.
Bolsonaro: I have complete confidence in that
After the preliminary election results were announced, Lula said he would continue fighting “until the final victory.” “We have to convince Brazilian society with our proposals,” he told the city of Sao Paulo.
Bolsonaro saw his narrow loss as a victory. The current president said, “The campaign now is our campaign. I have complete confidence in it.”
If Bolsonaro also loses the second round of voting in the presidential election, it remains to be seen whether he will accept defeat. “If we hold a fair election, I will win at least 60 percent of the vote,” he said earlier. The president has repeatedly claimed without evidence that the Brazilian electoral system is vulnerable to fraud and that he does not trust the outcome.
Some 160 million residents of the world’s fourth largest democracy were allowed to vote on Sunday. Brazil had a military government until 1985, but it has been a democracy for decades now.
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