LATIN-AMERICA

Elections in Brazil: protests against right-wing frontrunner Bolsonaro

BRASILIA – No moment of peace during the presidential elections in Brazil. After the legal tug-of-war around former president Lula, who was at the last moment replaced by Fernando Haddad as the Workers Party candidate, there was the stabbing of right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro. And as Bolsonaro returns home from the hospital, protests against the candidate and his plans grow on the streets of Brazil.

Tens of thousands of mostly Brazilian women marched through different cities in Brazil over the weekend, to protest against presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro, who came home after being stabbed a few weeks ago during a campaign event. “Not Him”, or #EleNao, has become a slogan of the protestors, who were organized by the Women United Against Bolsonaro. The right-wing candidate has made the headlines the last years with controversial comments, insulting homosexuals, women and Afro-Brazilians. Also, his recent declaration, stating that he won´t accept any election result in which he doesn´t come out as winner and his support of the former military dictatorship in Brazil have provoked anger among millions of Brazilians. Bolsonaro was, or still is, an outspoken fan of the Chilean dictator Pinochet, of whom he said that “Pinochet did what had to be done.”

Lula pulls out of presidential race in Brazil, setback for Bolsonaro

What does Jair Bolsonaro want?

Besides insulting people, Bolsonaro hasn´t presented much of a plan to his supporters. A big part of his supporters come from the evangelical corner, as Bolsonaro is strongly against abortion and equal sex marriage. Bolsonaro has said he wants to give the police and army more weapons freedom to shoot drug dealing people, although death rates in Brazil are already among the highest in the world. His rise has been compared with Donald Trump in the United States, who rose to power with vague promises on boosting the economy, although the Brazilian right-wing candidate hasn´t presented any plan on how to address income inequality or the rising poverty in the South-American country. For now he seems to, successfully, feed the anger of his supporters with the course of the country, by making controversial though popular statements.

Who is Bolsonaro up against?

In the second round of the presidential elections, Bolsonaro is expected to run against Fernando Haddad, the leftist Workers Party candidate that replaced Lula. Following a poll on Friday, Haddad got 45 percent of the votes, against 39 for Bolsonaro. Where Haddad aims on strengthening and funding public institutions, Bolsonaro seeks to privatize. With just six days until the elections, an already extremely aggressive campaign just seems to get more intense by the day.

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