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Brazilian far-right candidate wins first round of presidential election

11 Octobre 2018

The Workers' Party's Fernando Haddad will face far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro in the October 28 runoff to decide who will be Brazil's next president.

A woman sells T-shirts and flags with the image of presidential frontrunner Jair Bolsonaro of the Social Liberal Party, in front of the headquarters of the national congress, in Brasilia, Brazil, Oct. 7, 2018. Bolsonaro was stabbed at a rally in early September and campaigned from a hospital bed in recent weeks.

Haddad, who also made the runoff, came in a distant second.

The former Army captain will now face leftist opponent Fernando Haddad in the second round of the presidential election, with Bolsonaro enjoying a surge in support. He needed over 50 per cent support to win outright.

"Bolsonaro has an advantage over Haddad, he's in a growth curve. for him to lose from here, it's not about Haddad getting it right, it's about him making mistakes", he added. A recently released manifesto signed by Noam Chomsky and other intellectuals and activists described Bolsonaro as a "fascist, racist, chauvinist and homophobic candidate, one who calls for violence and armed repression". He has said he will surround himself with former military officers, like his running mate who is a retired general. He has said he intends to appoint other military leaders to central roles. "But anything is better than Bolsonaro". The two overseas cities with most Brazilian registered voters are Boston, 35.000 and Miami, 34.000.

Popular with Brazil's powerful evangelical and farming lobby, Bolsonaro has pledged to pull Brazil out of the Paris Agreement climate deal due to disagreements over how the Amazon should be protected.

Having overseen the massive corruption scheme and the beginning of the economic crisis, the PT saw a wholesale desertion of working-class voters in regions it had historically dominated, mainly in the country's industrial south, with Bolsonaro winning an absolute majority of 52 percent of the vote in both Sao Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul and a staggering 60 percent in the state of Rio de Janeiro. "Unfortunately it was the dictatorship". "I don't think that more than 49 million Brazilian who voted for Jair Bolsonaro on Sunday want it either".

But at least as many in the 147-million-strong electorate reject the veteran federal lawmaker.

The candidate offered little in the way of a detailed policy road map, particularly regarding the country's floundering economy. "If this problem had not occurred, if you had confidence in the electronic system, we would already have the name of the new president". "A miracle would be for Bolsonaro to see the light and govern the country for the people, for him to become less radical".

Gerald Alckmin, the former governor of the state of Sao Paulo who came in fourth on Sunday, told well-wishers that he respected the outcome of Sunday's presidential election.

He also tapped into the widespread, often visceral anti-PT sentiment, which has grown as a result of corruption investigations involving high-ranking party members, including ex-president Lula, who is now serving a highly disputed 12-year sentence for his alleged crimes An openly anti-PT media landscape contributed to this demonization.

Meanwhile, the party has struggled to stage a comeback with Haddad after da Silva was barred from running.

Some voters remain fiercely loyal to da Silva, though. Bolsonaro, who will now compete in a second-round runoff on October 28, presented himself as someone who tells it like it is while promising to dismantle a dysfunctional political system and seeking to capture the imagination of many citizens afraid of losing their place in an increasingly diverse and inclusive society.

Brazilian far-right candidate wins first round of presidential election