• Brazil Elections Bolsonaro and Lula, rivals beyond politics

The polls closed this Sunday in Brazil in the midst of a climate of tension and suspicion. The fourth largest democracy in the world ruled on two totally antagonistic projects: the continuity of Jair Bolsonaro in the presidency or the return of Luiz Incio Lula da Silva to the Planalto Palace.

The elections closed at 5:00 p.m. (9:00 p.m. in Spain) and, unlike what happened in the first round on October 2, won by the leftist Lula by 48.4 against 43.2 by the hard rightist Bolsonaro , in the ballot that took place on the last Sunday of October, the citizens of the big cities exhibited with much more confidence his political choice.

If four weeks ago the warning was not to go out on the streets wearing red (Lula) or green-yellow (Bolsonaro), what Sao Paulo -the largest city in the West- showed in the first hours of the balloting was many voters openly revealing their preferences: T-shirts, photos of the candidates, stickers with the list number.

“Lula, Lula!”, sang groups of young people in the streets of Bela Vista, in the center of So Paulo. “Twenty-two!” shouted others, two blocks away, mentioning the list number of the current president. He prioritized joy over the undeniable political tension that the country lives, graphed on Saturday with the amazing incident of a Bolsonarist federal deputy, Carla Zambellichasing, gun in hand, a man through the streets of Sao Paulo.

A Bolsonaro deputy chases a black journalist at gunpoint/Video: The World

As the hours went by, a scandal took shape on election day: the Workers’ Party (PT) denounced that the Federal Highway Police (PRF) dedicated itself to stopping buses with voters to review your documentation. Thus, the left-wing party alleges, the right to vote is restricted. According to ‘Folha de Sao Paulo’, searches on buses increased by 70% compared to the first round.

The PT complaint points out that its potential voters are especially affected, those who live in rural areas of the states of the impoverished Northeast and depend on public transportation to vote. Lula’s party asked the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) the entry into prison of Silvinei Vasques, head of the PRF and who has asked for the vote for Bolsonaro on his social networks. Alexandre de Moraes, president of the TSE, summoned Vasques to give him an explanation.

“The people in the rural area feel intimidated and do not go to vote. Many people did not go to vote for fear of having to go through the operation mounted by the PRF at the main entrance of the city. They are at the entrance of the city with a vehicle and a trailer, even doing breathalyzer tests,” the mayor of Cuit, in the state of Paraba, told “O Globo.”

However, De Moraes concluded that no one who wanted to cast their vote was left without doing so: “The damage that was caused to the voters was eventually the delay. But I will say it again, no bus returned to the origin. Everyone voted.” .

Before these complaints surfaced, Bolsonaro, who went to vote shortly after the polling places opened at eight in the morning, said believe that reverse the result of the first round and win. “We have had good news in the last few days. God willing, we will be victorious tonight. Or rather, it is Brazil that will win,” the 67-year-old president said after casting his vote in Rio de Janeiro.

Lula has voted in Sao Bernardo do Campo, the city on the outskirts of São Paulo where he grew up and became a union leader, first, and a politician, later. “He is the most important day of my life,” said the two-time president of Brazil (2003-2011), who at 77 years old is seeking a third presidency.

“I think it is a very important day for the Brazilian people, because today the people are defining the model of Brazil they want. I am convinced that the Brazilian people are going to vote for a project in which democracy is the winner.”

presidential election

A return of Lula to the Planalto Palace would have a political impact at the regional and world level. It means the end for four years of Bolsonaro’s presidency, which has been seen in many respects in the mirror of former US president Donald Trumpand a personal revenge for the leader of the Workers’ Party after spending almost two years in jail between 2018 and 2019, convicted of corruption.

sergio moro, the judge who sentenced him in the first instance, would later become Bolsonaro’s Minister of Justice, from whom he distanced himself to get closer again in this electoral campaign. The Supreme Court annulled the sentences of twelve years and one month in prison imposed on Lula, although it did not declare him innocent: it only established that the courts that acted in his cases were incompetent.

This Sunday’s election, which summons 156 million Brazilians to the pollsis played largely in two very different worlds, although with points of contact: social networks and religion.

In neighboring countries like Argentina and Uruguay, a candidate can calmly declare himself an atheist without his chances of winning being jeopardized. In Brazil, no. Bolsonaro has a powerful alliance with very influential evangelical groups, with a strong presence in Congress, the media and the federal government itself. God is, for the president, the greatest voter.

Lula, theoretical representative of something comparable to a European social democracy, signed and presented a “Public Letter to the Evangelist People” in an act committing himself to “defend life”, which means a “no” to abortion, although he was careful to clarify that it is his personal position, and that the issue will ultimately be decided by Congress. In recent weeks, Lula’s social networks have been responsible for clarifying that the former president has “no relationship with the devil” nor has he met with him.

The clarification, which may sound unusual, was considered vital by Lula’s teams in view of the broadcast of edited videos in which the former president of his relationship with the devil.

Former Brazilian President
Lula da Silva gestures after casting his vote in Sao Paulo.NELSON ALMEIDA | AFP

Just like four years ago, when his followers celebrated his victory by shouting “Facebook, facebook, whatsapp, whatsapp!”, Bolsonaro once again showed himself to be a consummate expert in manipulation through social media. In just ten days in October, between the 16th and 25th, a key moment of the campaign, the right-wing candidate’s team spent $3.5 million on Google ads.

With the redoubled support of Trump and the soccer player Neymar in the last hours and a political act in Belo Horizonte mounted on a motorcycle, Bolsonaro accelerated towards what he hopes will be a victory. It was the closing of a campaign in which the president put his greatest effort into social networks, while Lula bet above all on acts of a more traditional format, such as the festive walk on Saturday along Paulista Avenue, in So Paulo.

The counting of the votes, cast by a electronic method It is usually fast, although you have to wait a few hours for the trend to be confirmed: the votes of the cities and states with the strongest right tend to enter the count before those of those sites with a predominance of the left. It happened in 2014, in the election between Dilma Rousseff and Aecio Neves, and also in the first round this year between Lula and Bolsonaro.

With the Bolsonaro predominance in the southeastern states and the question of what will happen in Minas Gerais, a kind of “Brazilian Ohio” that reflects the national trend, a great key lies in the difference that Lula can get from Bolsonaro in the impoverished northeast: the PT aspires to make it a 70-30, but the ruling right sought to pierce that fortress, something that was evident in the last debate. If Bolsonaro manages to avoid resounding defeat in those states, his hopes of victory will make sense.

Source: www.elmundo.es

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J. A. Allen

Author, blogger, freelance writer. Hater of spiders. Drinker of wine. Mother of hellions.

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