Brazil heads to the polls on Sunday for the crucial round of the presidential election. Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has a narrow lead in the opinion polls. But current President Jair Bolsonaro has not given up the fight yet. In doing so, he uses questionable means.
Brazil is the largest economy in South America. The country also has the largest population of the continent. So there are many on the edge of danger When Brazilians go to the polls on Sunday.
A decisive ballot is necessary, because the first ballot did not produce a clear winner. Lula defeated Bolsonaro, but the difference (48 percent versus 43 percent) wasn’t big enough. This time around, 77-year-old Lula and 10-year-old Bolsonaro are the only two candidates on the ballot.
Lula is still slightly ahead by about 5 percentage points in the polls. But that margin was much larger weeks ago. Then, the difference between the two candidates turned out to be much smaller than expected. So it might turn into a neck-and-neck race on Sunday.
In the run-up to Sunday, Bolsonaro borrowed a tactic from a man he has often been compared to: Donald Trump. Like Trump, Bolsonaro is already covering himself for defeat. He does so by publicly questioning the integrity of the elections.
The Big Lie The Big Lie The Big Lie
Bolsonaro’s nickname is “tropical Trump” for a reason. Both are right-wing populists and behave rudely to say the least. They are also vehemently opposed to “establishment” and political correctness.
The former US president lost to Joe Biden in 2020. He still claims that those elections were not fair. His favorite fret is that the Democrats got the election through massive vote-rigging.”kidnapped“.
Trump has provided no evidence for this accusation. This is why it is also called the “big lie”. But many Americans think so anyway. This is fueling an already huge divide in the country.
Bolsonaro uses almost the same texts as Trump during the election campaign. For example, he claims that “one side, either side” gets serious disadvantaged Through the system. Like Trump, Bolsonaro provides no evidence for his claims. However, Brazilian elections have often been rigged in the past.
Flavio Bolsonaro says on Twitter that his father is “the victim of the biggest electoral fraud ever”.
Hard vs hard in the past discussion
In the last debate before the election, things turned unfriendly between Bolsonaro and Lula on Friday. The two Brazilian presidential candidates have constantly accused each other of lying.
Bolsonaro, among other things, reiterated his unproven claim that “the whole system” is against him. He also attacked Lula for his corruption conviction. The former president was convicted in 2017 and spent more than a year in prison. He was only allowed to stand for election after Brazil’s Supreme Court overturned his conviction in 2021.
Lula, in turn, is hoping for a “rational moment” in Bolsonaro. He said he expects Bolsonaro to congratulate him if the outcome is in Lula’s favour.
It is impossible to say how many Brazilians really believe that Bolsonaro is disadvantaged. But in the United States it has already been shown that even a few followers can do great harm to democracy.
Polling stations in Brazil open on Sunday at 1 pm Dutch time and close nine hours later. At night from Sunday to Monday, a result is expected around 2am Dutch time.
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