Brazil Election Will Go to Run-Off, Bolsonaro vs Haddad

Jair Bolsonaro

Jair Bolsonaro

"Other Bolsonaro voters expressed their bitterness, even though the result was close to pollsters' predictions".

Mr Haddad has promised to roll back President Michel Temer's economic reforms that he says eroded workers' rights, increase investment in social programmes and bring back the boom years Brazil experienced under his mentor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

The Social Liberal Party (PSL) candidate Bolsonaro was the victor of the first election round on Sunday (October 7), failing short of the 50 percent outright majority, but nonetheless accruing 46 percent of the vote.

Despite making several disparaging comments about the gay community, women and minorities which have appalled millions of Brazilians, his tough-on-crime posture, favourable remarks about Brazil's former military dictatorship and self-styled anti-establishment approach have appealed to many others.

"Anyone who lives in Brazil knows that life got worse under the Workers' Party, especially for the middle class", she said.

Polls predicted Mr Bolsonaro would come out in front on Sunday, but he far outperformed expectations, blazing past competitors with more financing, institutional backing of parties and free air time on television.

But Bolsonaro's fiery anti-democratic rhetoric of the past, his stance that Brazil's already notoriously violent police should kill as many criminals as possible, and his desire to rollback progressives' gains in recent years have enraged a large number of voters.

Matthew Taylor, an associate professor of Latin American politics at American University, said that in the weeks before the runoff vote Bolsonaro will likely hit Haddad hard on the theme of corruption within the Workers' Party and da Silva, who Brazilians simply call Lula.

"I can't turn into a Little "Peace and Love" Jair, which would be betraying who I am", Bolsonaro said in a radio interview.

But analysts said they weren't betting on him turning things around for October 28's second-round vote.

Senna said he was anxious that Bolsonaro's presidential rivals would gang up on him and back Haddad in the runoff. "So I chose to vote for Bolsonaro, who is the only one who can block the return of the Workers' Party".

In the most polarized election since the end of military rule in 1985, Bolsonaro is backed by a group of retired generals who have criticized the 2003-2016 Workers Party governments and publicly advocate military intervention if corruption continues.

"A lot of young people are voting for him". "We want to unite all the democrats in Brazil".

Lula was blocked from the race after being sentenced to 12 years in prison on corruption charges in one of the world's biggest-ever political graft scandals.

His rival, former Sao Paulo mayor Fernando Haddad, won only 29%, according to figures from Brazil's superior electoral tribunal with 99.9% of the vote counted.

Had he pocketed more than 50 percent, he would automatically have become the president-elect. "Bolsonaro will have to set aside his hate speeches and straighten out contradictions between his aides", Santoro said.

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