Right-wing populist presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro of the Social Liberal Party won the first round of the Brazil election Sunday, leading to a runoff between Bolsonaro and left-wing Workers’ Party candidate Fernando Haddad.
Bolsonaro needed to surpass 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff but fell short at 46.43 perecent. Haddad came in second with 28.7 percent. Almost one-third of eligible voters either did not vote or cast blank ballots.
Both candidates reflect the divisions inside Brazil after former President Dilma Rousseff was impeached and the economy suffered a recession. In 2014, prosecutors revealed a massive corruption investigation concerning public contracts being given in exchange for bribes and kickbacks.
Bolsonaro has been referred to as “Brazil’s Trump” and is running on an anti-corruption campaign. He has been at the center of controversy with insulting comments attacking women, minorities and LGTBQ individuals.
Haddad is the hand-picked successor of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, “Lula”, who was barred from running after being incarcerated due to corruption, despite being popular with Brazilians.
Paling in comparison to Lula, many do not see Haddad as capable enough to pass the tough economic reforms needed to avoid a crisis.
A runoff between Bolsonaro and Haddad will be held Sunday, Oct. 28, with Bolsonaro being considered the “overwhelming favorite to win.”
[BBC] [Washington Post] [Politico] [The Intercept] [Photo courtesy Poder 360]