Brazil’s presidential race is headed for the finish line, as voters prepare to pick either Jair Bolsonaro or Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as their leader on Sunday. In the days leading up to the second and final runoff, Mr. Bolsonaro, the incumbent, has narrowed the gap between him and leftist front-runner Mr. da Silva by four percentage points. Even if Mr. da Silva, popularly known as Lula, ends up winning the presidency, analysts predict the incumbent’s legacy and influence, as well as Bolsonarism – his far-right populist movement – will remain a strong political force in the country.
The general elections on Oct. 2 gave the incumbent’s party its best-ever results in both chambers of Brazil’s National Congress. Mr. Bolsanaro has close allies in Congress, including Brazil’s ex-health minister and former army general Eduardo Pazuello, who’s been blamed for thousands of deaths over his handling of the country’s response to COVID-19, and former minister of women, families and human rights, Damares Alves, a controversial evangelical fundamentalist accused of abducting a six-year-old Indigenous child in 2005 and raising the girl as her own.
These kinds of connections mean that a victory by Mr. da Silva, who served as Brazil’s president from 2003 to 2010, would not weaken the political influence that Mr. Bolsonaro wields in the country.
Full article at The Globe and Mail’s page. Date of publication: 27/10/2022.
Published also in print (28/10/2022)