Jair Bolsonaro faces a tough election in Brazil

Brazil’s Bolsonaro loses bid for second term in fiercely contested presidential vote

Brazilian voters are going to be asked for their second-ever vote on Sunday for president in a fiercely contested election in which a former army captain has vowed to overhaul a political system dominated since the country’s last military coup in 1964 by a far-right, social-liberal, right-wing coalition.

The election is also expected to be a test of whether right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro can continue his pro-business and anti-corruption course in the face of strong opposition in Brazil’s cities, in particular, his stronghold of Rio de Janeiro, where he was mayor from 2003 to 2016.

Bolsonaro is trying to capitalize on voter dissatisfaction with the status quo, which he says is out of the hands of both the traditional left and the traditional right.

The new president, who has been elected with 49.5 percent of the vote, will take office on Jan. 1 and could soon have some decisions to make on an array of pressing issues, including the constitution and its future.

He faces more than 1,300 candidates for the lower house seats of federal president and governor, in addition to more than 70 for state governors and more than 150 for city presidents and mayors.

On the campaign trail, Bolsonaro, known as “Boto” to his supporters, has cast himself as a defender of a strong military and against what he calls the political establishment he says is corrupt.

Bolsonaro has vowed to scrap Brazil’s Supreme Court, calling it “incompatible with Brazilian society.” He has also promised to make Brazil a police state and has called for the country to develop its own military.

The election, which begins at 8 p.m. Sunday, follows a long and bitter campaign, pitting against each other candidates backed by the left and the right.

Leave a Comment