Jair Bolsonaro wins Brazilian presidential election

  1. Former Army captain has been compared to both Donald Trump and the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte
  2. Frontrunner poised for presidency has vowed to 'make Brazil great again'

Presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro swept to victory in the Brazilian elections on Sunday 28 October, successfully leveraging the voters’ frustration over rampant corruption and crime plaguing the world’s fourth-largest democracy.

Brazil has become the latest country to shift to the far right, according to an Associated Press report. With 98 percent of the votes counted, Bolsonaro had 56 percent of the votes against 44 percent for his opponent, Fernando Haddad, in the runoff election.

Supporters of the congressman from the Social Liberal Party (PSL) gathered outside his house in an upscale suburb of Rio de Janeiro to celebrate the results.

On Sunday, 7 October, Bolsonaro fell short of winning an outright majority in the first round of the Brazilian election.

He won just shy of 47 percent of the vote, mandating a runoff, while his nearest rival trailed him significantly taking 29 percent.

Fernando Haddad‘s defeat marks the first presidential loss for the leftists since 2002.

The strength of Bolsonaro’s “straight talk” campaign has boosted similar candidates — not least of all his own sons Eduardo, Flavio and Carlos, also running for parliament and local government positions — in the south and southeast, where the retired captain is favored to win.

Eve-of-election polling gave Bolsonaro a lead of at least 15 percentage points over Haddad with 40 percent of intended votes to Haddad’s 25 percent (Reuters).

Bolsonaro, an admirer of the United States and its president, Donald Trump, has made headlines across the world for his comments on the economy, the role of government and most recently the LGBTQ+ community, which inspired the global campaign #EleNão (“Not Him”) against quotes made by Bolsnaro who said he “would rather his son die than be homosexual.”

Far from harming his grassroots campaign, Datafolha reports Bolsonaro’s preference increased from 28 percent to 32 percent after the global outrage as opposed to Haddad’s, who went down 1 percentage point to 21 percent.

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