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Historic election against Bolsonaro with Lula in Brazil

The race pits incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro against his political nemesis, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

The race pits incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro against his political nemesis, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

over 120 million Brazilians will vote on Sunday In a highly polarized election that could determine whether the country returns the left to the top of the world’s fourth-largest democracy or keeps the far-right in office for the next four years.

The race is trough, with polling starting at 8 a.m. Brasilia time Outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro Against his political enmity, Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, There are nine other candidates, but their support is for Mr. Bolsonaro and Mr. da Silva.

Recent opinion polls have given Mr da Silva a commanding lead – the last Datafolha poll published on Saturday found 50% of respondents intending to vote for a candidate said they would vote for Mr da Silva, while 36% for Mr. Bolsonaro. The polling institute interviewed 12,800 people with an error of plus or minus two percentage points.

read also , Bolsonaro and Lula face off in Brazil presidential debate

Mr Bolsonaro’s administration has been marked by incendiary speeches, his tests of democratic institutions, his widespread criticism To deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and the worst Deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest in 15 years.

But Mr. Bolsonaro has built a dedicated base by defending traditional family values, defying political correctness, and presenting himself as defending the nation from leftist policies that violate individual liberties and create economic turmoil.

A slow economic recovery has yet to reach the poor, with 33 million Brazilians starving despite high welfare payments. Like many of its Latin American neighbors that are facing high inflation and large numbers of people left out of formal employment, Brazil is considering a shift to the political left.

Gustavo Petro in Colombia, Gabriel Boric in Chile and Pedro Castillo in Peru are among the region’s left-wing leaders who recently took power.

There is a chance Mr da Silva could win the first round without requiring a run-off on 30 October. For this to happen, they would need more than 50% of valid votes, which do not include bad and blank ballots. Brazil has over 150 million eligible voters, and voting is compulsory, but the abstinence rate can reach 20%.

A straight victory would shift the focus of the president’s response to the count, as he has repeatedly questioned the credibility of not only opinion polls, but also of electronic voting machines. Analysts fear they have set the groundwork for rejecting the results. At one point, Mr Bolsonaro claimed to have evidence of fraud, but never presented any, even after the electoral authority set a time limit for doing so. Mr Bolsonaro said as recently as 18 September that if he does not win in the first round, something “unusual” must happen. Two leading men have major bases of support: evangelical and white men for Bolsonaro, and women, minorities and the poor for Mr. da Silva.

From Poverty to the Presidency

Mr da Silva, 76, will vote in the state of So Paulo, where he was once a metallurgist and union leader. Mr. da Silva rose from poverty to the presidency and is credited with creating a comprehensive social welfare program during his 2003–2010 term that helped lift millions of people in the middle class.

But Mr. de Silva is also remembered for his administration’s involvement in the widespread corruption scandals that engulfed politicians and business executives.

Mr da Silva’s own conviction for corruption and money laundering led to a 19-month prison term, leaving him out of the 2018 presidential race, with polls indicating he was running against Bolsonaro. The Supreme Court later overturned da Silva’s sentence on the grounds that the judge was biased and colluded with prosecutors.

‘Army should count parallel ballots’

Mr. Bolsonaro, who will vote in Rio de Janeiro, grew up in a modest family before joining the military. Mr. Bolsonaro eventually turned to politics after being pulled out of the military to openly press for a raise in soldiers’ pay. During his seven terms as a fringe MP in the lower house of Congress, he regularly expressed nostalgia for the country’s two-decade military dictatorship.

Mr Bolsonaro’s offer to the armed forces has raised concerns that his possible rejection of the election results could be backed by top officials.

Traditionally, the participation of armed forces in elections has been limited to taking voting machines to individual communities and increasing security in violent areas. But this year, Mr Bolsonaro suggested the military should parallel count ballots.

Although it did not materialise, the Defense Ministry said it would investigate the results of more than 380 polling stations across Brazil. Any citizen or institution is able to do so, by consulting the vote tally available at each station after the ballot paper closes and goes online.

Since the vote is conducted electronically, preliminary results are usually out within minutes, with the final result available a few hours later. This year, all voting will close at 5 pm Brasilia time, even if those regions are in later time zones.

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