Despite this, Bolsonaro captured a good portion of the gay vote, Bloomberg reports: "Disgust with corruption during the 14-year rule of the Workers' Party runs so deep that some gay voters have been willing to bet that Bolsonaro's hostility is a mere ploy".
His win is a voter rejection of the leftist administrations that have governed Brazil for most of the last 15 years.
Despite his influence, da Silva was not able to pull off the last-minute transfer of votes to the candidate chosen to replace him on the ballot, the bookish and urbane - but less charismatic - Fernando Haddad. Al Jazeera reported on an investigation by Brazil's largest newspaper, Folha De Sao Paulo, claiming that "Bolsonaro's WhatsApp offensive has been secretly boosted by several unnamed corporations" to the tune of $3.2 million to help promote pro-Bolsonaro messages, and attack his opponent Fernando Haddad with false stories.
Bolsonaro's candidacy benefited from another trending electoral phenomenon: a preference among voters for a political outsider or maverick "disrupter" who challenges the status quo.
Haddad said his supporters "have the responsibility to mount an opposition, putting national interests, the interests of the entire Brazilian people, above everything". "Brazil has possibly never needed the exercise of citizenship more than right now".
"We will join them in standing up against any attempt to erode the democratic rights and institutions that Brazil has painstakingly built in the last three decades".
Bolsonaro comes to the presidency prompted by the protest vote of millions of Brazilians tired of corruption scandals, the economic crisis and the wave of violence that has punished the country in recent years.
To many, however, Bolsonaro is the best hope to revive an ailing economy and streamline an inefficient state.
Haddad has taken the opposite tack, promising to double-down on investment in education, health and social programs, arguing that the gains Brazil made in reducing poverty during the boom years have eroded and the poorest are suffering. He frequently disparaged women, gays and blacks, and said he would name military men to his Cabinet.
Within minutes of his victory being declared, global civil rights groups expressed concerns.
Brazil's current president, Michel Temer, has congratulated Bolsonaro on his "historic victory" and guaranteed that there will be a peaceful transfer of power.
Steve Schwartzman of the Environmental Defense Fund warned that Bolsonaro's promises about the environment would be "dangerous to the planet". He speaks about the United States with great admiration, he says that it's the model that Brazil should follow, and the Americans are quite excited with that, because it is going to be a very unusual situation to have a Latin American country allied with Trump in the middle of this very strong diplomatic conflict concerning immigration and concerning trade negotiations. He has also promised to cut environmental regulations and make Brazil friendlier to worldwide investors.
About 85 per cent of Brazilians identify themselves as Christians while the number belonging to evangelical denominations has grown rapidly in recent years.
Bolsonaro, nicknamed "Trumpzinho", has portrayed China - Brazil's largest trading partner, as a predator that is trying to appropriate part of the key sectors in the South American economy.
Bolsonaro aims to thwart corruption and downsize a costly state by selling scores of state-owned companies.
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