Brazil's far-right Bolsonaro says 'polling problems' cost him outright victory

Cheryl Sanders
October 9, 2018

Brazil's far-right presidential candidate, Jair Bolsonaro has fallen short of the threshold - 50% plus one vote to avoid an October 28th run-off against his nearest rival, left-wing candidate, Fernando Haddad. He will face leftist Fernando Haddad, the former mayor of São Paulo, in a second round of voting on October 28.

Haddad, the former mayor of Sao Paulo who replaced jailed former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in the contest, is seen as running neck-and-neck with Bolsonaro in the second round, surveys show.

Lorenzoni said Bolsonaro's team was targeting individual lawmakers in parties opposed to the Workers Party (PT) and its presidential candidate Fernando Haddad - including those in parties whose leaders do not yet support the right-winger.

"We're going to have a huge caucus, perfectly governable, to pass the bills that the society is demanding - to conclude the reforms that are underway", Bivar said, referring to stalled efforts to trim public pensions and close a budget deficit.

Brazilians will vote on Sunday in a polarised presidential race that could result in the election of a far-right former Army captain, whose praise of past dictatorships enrages critics but whose promise of a brutal crackdown on crime and corruption has electrified his supporters.

Traditionally, most of Brazil's centrist parties rally behind the president.

Ligia Torggler, a 58-year-old Sao Paulo retiree, said she entered the polling station thinking she would vote for Geraldo Alckmin, a traditional center-right politician.

Asked whom he would endorse, Gomes referred to the slogan of anti-Bolsonaro protesters in recent weeks: "Not him, certainly".

Brian Winter, the editor-in-chief of Americas Quarterly magazine, said the results underscored "the total disappearance of the Brazilian centre" and that Bolsonaro seemed nearly certain to glide to victory. Bolsonaro has already stated that he will accept no other result than his election while Vladimir Safatle, a renowned professor from the University of São Paulo, has warned that "there is a military coup in process in Brazil now".

The two men do share some similarities, including their disdain for political correctness and lack of a filter. But she decided otherwise because, she said, she knew Bolsonaro would win anyway - and she thought he was the only candidate strong enough to prevent a return of the left.

While some have equated Bolsonaro to Donald Trump or Silvi Berlusconi, the lingering spectre of Brazil's military dictatorship of 1964 to 1985 makes his potential election even more ominous. And now it has failed to nominate a candidate who could appeal to conservative voters.

Bolsonaro's son, Eduardo, took to Twitter to call upon voters to record videos if the voting machines give them issues. Bolsonaro has been endorsed by the fifth-place finisher, potentially handing him nearly half the votes he needs for a win.

Meanwhile, Bolsonaro's supporters protested outside the national electoral tribunal in Brasilia, claiming fraud in the polls, AFP reported.

Haddad, though, has his own challenge. They sent precisely the two candidates who most polarize the population to a runoff election, thus aggravating the country's problems still further.

Other reports by iNewsToday