More than 156 million Brazilians will turn out this Sunday to vote for the new president of Brazil, in one of the most tense and passionate elections since the return to democracy 37 years ago. And they will clearly choose between the two phenomena that mobilize passions: Lulism and Bolsonarism, two great forces that have left no room for a third way. The voters of 5,570 cities in the country and 181 positions abroad will type their votes on an electronic screen to choose, in addition to the future president, state governors, candidates for the Chamber of Deputies, the Senate and local parliaments. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the center-leftist who was already president between 2003 and 2010, is the favorite with 50% of the voting intentions, according to polls prior to the election. The current president, the far-right Jair Bolsonaro, has 36% of the preference and needs to reach the second round to maintain his chances of being re-elected for four more years. “Polarization exists in any democratic regime. But this is a very libidinal polarization, very affective. We have not only two names, but two very strong social, affective and passionate fields. It is very difficult for another intermediate name to become strong”, Esther Solano, professor of International Relations at the Federal University of São Paulo, tells ABC. Political scientist Humberto Dantas, a doctor at the University of São Paulo (USP), believes that “there is a real possibility that the election will be decided in the first round” with a victory for Lula da Silva, based on what the polls indicate, but he reminds also that in the last votes, the polls guessed the direction of the vote, without precision. What if the elections go to the second round? “Lula would have to continue managing his position for 28 more days, something that he has managed very well since the beginning of the campaign, while for Bolsonaro it will be 28 more days of desperation,” Dantas explained to ABC. Related News standard No Tense debate between Lula and Bolsonaro three days before the elections in Brazil Verónica Goyzueta The former president and the current president, favorites in the Brazilian elections on Sunday, exchanged insults and accusations There is, however, a new atmosphere of concern in the Brazilian elections, of what may be the day after a Bolsonaro defeat. The current president has made contradictory statements, a few stating that he will admit defeat, and many saying that he will only accept the result “if the elections are fair.” Bolsonaro and his supporters do not trust electronic ballot boxes, internationally considered one of the main marks of the reliability of Brazilian democracy. “Bolsonaro is such an unstable guy that we don’t know what can happen,” says Dantas. “We will have a stress test, which we will see if it will require a reaction from the police, or if there will be a rise in tone that requires a response from the Supreme Court and even from the Military Forces,” he comments on the reaction that may occur if Bolsonaro did not concede defeat. Bolsonaro’s reaction The concern is that the president’s supporters are very aggressive, especially when Bolsonaro inflames them in speeches that incite hatred, a strategy similar to that used by former US President Donald Trump, and that could lead to similar episodes such as those that occurred in the Capitol, in January 2021. The same does not happen with the PT members who, as Dantas recalls, accepted the ‘impeachment’ of Dilma Rousseff in 2016 and the imprisonment of Lula in 2018 without acts of violence. The Brazilian president and candidate for re-election, Jair Bolsonaro, attends a caravan of vehicles on the eve of the presidential elections, in Sao Paulo AFP In recent weeks, violent incidents carried out by Bolsonarists against Lulistas have increased in the Brazilian streets. The international organization Humans Right Watch (HRW) expressed concern in a statement about the increase in attacks. The document cites the murder of the PT farmer, Benedito Cardoso dos Santos, assassinated on September 7 by Bolsonarist Rafael Silva de Oliveira, with 70 blows with a knife and axe, after a political argument, in the state of Mato Grosso. HRW also recalled the murder of PT member Marcelo Arruda, in Foz de Iguazú, when he was celebrating his birthday, in July, at a party in homage to Lula. Weapons restriction Supreme Court Judge Edson Fachin has temporarily suspended regulations promulgated by Bolsonaro, which make the purchase of firearms more flexible, due to the “risk of political violence” in the country. These regulations have tripled the number of weapons circulating in Brazil since 2018, when Bolsonaro was elected president. The Superior Electoral Court (TSE), responsible for organizing the elections, reinforced advertising campaigns to guarantee the reliability of the equipment, used 26 years ago in the polls, highly respected for having eliminated the risks of voting on paper and guaranteed recounts. total in a few hours. The action seeks to neutralize the Bolsonarist logic against this technology, the same one that confirmed all the elections of the far-rightist and his relatives from his time as a congressman to the presidency.