Thursday, February 29

Bolsonaro leads Lula by 3 points with 20% scrutinized in Brazil

The current president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, and the leftist Lula da Silva, in their last television debate. / ef

Although the latest polls give the leftist leader as the favorite, the far-right president is currently in the lead

The schools are closed. It only remains to count. It only remains to be seen if it is confirmed that the latest polls were right in considering the leader of the PT (Workers’ Party), Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (77 years old), the favorite, with 53%, to win the elections for the presidency of Brazil. For now, with 20% counted, the advantage would go to the current president and leader of the Liberal Party (PL), the far-right Jair Bolsonaro, who would reap 51% compared to 48% for his rival.

In the first round, Lula remained in second place for much of the scrutiny and only took the lead when the percentage of votes counted exceeded 70%. The final result was 48.4% support for the former president, just three points more than Bolsonaro, who received 45.2%.

With their vote, the citizens of the country must also certify the comments they gave to the former president who won the last debate he had with Jair Bolsonaro (67 years old). These are crucial elections for the future of a country that will have to choose between two totally antagonistic models: between the far-right continuity of Bolsonaro or the return of the leftist Lula to a head of state that he already held between 2003 and 2010.

The second round of the elections is being held this Sunday in a climate of total uncertainty and after an endless campaign in which the two candidates have stood out more for their intentions to wash dirty clothes, and for personal accusations of corruption, than for the presentation of new projects and ideas that lead Brazil to a better future. In the first round, Lula obtained more than 55 million votes (48.4%) compared to the 50 million obtained by Bolsonaro (43.2%), with an abstention of 20.8% (32 million people).

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“The greatest fear of the current president’s campaign is the construction of a discourse for more forceful action if he is defeated,” says the lawyer and professor of Human Rights in Curitiba, Juliana Bertholdi. “At this moment it is not possible to understand which path Bolsonaro will choose in case of defeat: if he will limit himself to continuing to question the electoral process and its legitimacy, if he will seek explanations in the Supreme Electoral Tribunal or if he will gather his armed followers, which would be the worst. path, the most feared, but also the most unlikely”, adds Bertholdi.

However, in statements after the television debate on Friday night, Bolsonaro promised to respect the result of the elections even if he is not the winner. “There is not the slightest doubt. The one with the most votes wins. That is democracy », he said. However, throughout his campaign, Bolsonaro had said on several occasions that he would only accept the result if he considered the elections to be fair. Suspicions of his rejection of the result in case of defeat reappeared this week when his allies requested an investigation on the grounds that some radio stations in the northeast of the country did not publish his advertisements and were in favor of Lula. During the face-to-face meeting on Friday, organized by the O’Globo television channel, Bolsonaro felt like a victim: “The whole system is against me. The big television networks, one here (referring to the one that was offering the debate) and even the Supreme Electoral Tribunal that wants to investigate me ».

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the last face to face

The impression left by the debate is that Lula was firmer than on previous occasions and obtained a new victory on points. Expectations were centered on a Bolsonaro forced to go on the offensive to at least match Lula in the polls. But what all the analysts agreed on is that the last debate left a lot to be desired.

In Bolsonaro’s speech, insult predominated. If in the previous debates he always addressed Lula as a “convict”, on this occasion the term he used the most was “liar”. In the exchange of insults, both candidates came to use all the offensive adjectives, from “corrupt” to “scoundrel”, going through “criminal”, “thief”, and even the head of a criminal gang. It was not the debate that was expected and in that Lula was correct when he apologized for the lack of arguments and the quality of the meeting.

The tactic of the current president of Brazil was focused on asking his rival many questions. He did it so many times that Lula responded at one point: “I did not come to answer questions from Bolsonaro. He came to talk to the Brazilian people ».

The candidates recalled the achievements made during their mandates and did not give up rubbing against their mismanagement, although they did broach some uncomfortable issues, such as gender ideology and the legalization of drugs, clear accusations from Bolsonaro to Lula, yes, instead, he responded to the accusation of being in favor of abortion, which he flatly denied. The president attacked the previous mandates of his adversary saying that his government had inherited serious ethical, moral and economic problems from them.

300,000 deaths from covid

Both were recurrent on issues such as poverty and health, in which Lula feels very comfortable remembering that during his governments the country grew and inequality was reduced, while during the pandemic, Bolsonaro failed miserably. “One day you will pay for the avoidable death of more than 300,000 people -of the total of 680,000 deceased-” for not giving the vaccines at the right time, “Lula snapped at his adversary.

With this background scenario, one of the most populous countries in the world, with more than 215 million citizens, which has the highest unemployment rate in the region (13.2%) and one of the largest foreign debts (93 % of its GDP), Brazil faces momentous elections this Sunday. And also sensitive due to the fears generated by its current president, closer to the line of Donald Trump, who does not want to discuss the legalization of drugs, who does not accept gender ideology and who is convinced that his opponent today, Lula , represents the dark side, while he, Jair Messias Bolsonaro is the good side of life.

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