NEWS

Far-right Bolsonaro wins Brazil presidential race

Jake Spring & Anthony Boadle & Reuters

Published
Modified 29 Oct 2018, 12:24 am

Far-right lawmaker Jair Bolsonaro won Brazil’s presidential election on Sunday, riding a wave of frustration over corruption and crime that brought a dramatic swing to the right in the world’s fourth-largest democracy.

With 94 percent of ballots counted, Bolsonaro had 56 percent of the votes in the run-off election against left-wing hopeful Fernando Haddad of the Workers Party (PT), who had 44 percent, according to the electoral authority TSE.

“We cannot continue flirting with communism... We are going to change the destiny of Brazil,” Bolsonaro said in an acceptance address in which he vowed to carry out his
campaign promises to stamp out corruption after years of leftist rule.

The former army captain’s rise has been propelled by the rejection of the leftist PT that ran Brazil for 13 of the last 15 years and was ousted two years ago in the midst of a deep recession and political graft scandal.

Thousands of Bolsonaro supporters cheered and set off fireworks outside his home in Rio de Janeiro’s Barra de Tijuca beachfront neighbourhood as his victory was announced.

In Brazil’s commercial capital of Sao Paulo, Bolsonaro’s win was greeted with fireworks and the honking of car horns.

“Brazil is partying. Brazil’s good people are celebrating,” said Carmen Flores, local president of Bolsonaro’s PSL party.

The vote had been calm and orderly across the country, said Laura Chinchilla, the former president of Costa Rica who is head of the Organization of American States’ Electoral Observation Mission.

Brazil has suffered a spate of partisan violence during the polarised campaign.

Many Brazilians are concerned that Bolsonaro, an admirer of Brazil’s 1964-1985 military dictatorship and a defender of its use of torture on leftist opponents, will trample on
human rights, curtail civil liberties and muzzle freedom of speech.

The 63-year-old seven-term congressman has vowed to crack down on crime in Brazil’s cities and farm belt by granting police more autonomy to shoot at criminals.

He also wants to let more Brazilians buy weapons to fight crime.

- Reuters

Share this story

Comments

By posting a comment, you agree to our Terms & Conditions as stipulated in full here

TERMS & CONDITIONS

Foul language, profanity, vulgarity, slanderous, personal attack, threatening, sexually-orientated comments or the use of any method of communication that may violate any law or create needless unpleasantness will not be tolerated. Antisocial behaviour such as "spamming" and "trolling" will be suspended. Violators run the risk of also being blocked permanently.

REPORT VIOLATORS

Please use the report feature that is available below each comment to flag offending comments for our moderators to take action. Do not take matters in your own hands to avoid unpleasant and unnecessary exchanges that may result in your own suspension or ban.