BRASILIA – Jair Bolsonaro will be the next president of Brazil. The far rightwing candidate won the presidential elections yesterday with 55,2 percent of the vote. Bolsonaro promises to be hard on corruption and crime in the biggest country in South-America.
For the first time in five presidential elections Brazil will have a rightwing president. A president that sparks controversy for his comments on homosexuality, women and Afro-Brazilians. Also, his promises to reduce state intervention, to boost the agricultural sector and to pull out of the Paris Agreement have led environmentalists to believe the Amazon rainforest will be severely damaged during his administration. But at the end, his promised policies on tackling corruption and violence in the country, making Brazil safer and a more stable economy, have won him the majority of the votes.
As Jair Bolsonaro in the first round of the elections in Brazil already gathered a stunning 46 percent of the votes, his victory in the second round didn´t come as a surprise. His opponent, Fernando Haddad from the Workers Party, could never reach the popularity Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva had. Lula was barred from participating in the elections as he was jailed over corruption charges and replaced by Haddad.
Brazilians fed up with corruption…
Corruption cases have been making headlines in Brazil for the past four years. The still ongoing investigation Operation Carwash, encircled around state-owned oil company Petrobras, has led to investigations on Brazilian politicians such as current president Michael Temer, and former presidents Dilma Rouseff and Lula.
It is that same corruption, that has made millions of Brazilians vote for the policies of Jair Bolsonaro, who promises to tackle the corruption in the country. It is also the reason Fernando Haddad never stood a fair chance, as his Workers Party, who had delivered presidents in the last four elections, is the subject of various corruption cases.
Another promise of Bolsonaro that has converted him into the next president of Brazil, is his promise to fight crime. Brazil, and especially cities such as Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro, is suffering from incredibly high death rates as a result of drug violence in the poorer neighborhoods of the cities, the so-called favelas.
In 2016, Brazil had a record 61,819 murders or on average 198 murders per day, giving a homicide rate of 29.9 per 100,000 population. Bolsonaro said he wants to restore the death penalty, let all ´honest´ Brazilians carry arms so they can defend themselves and lower the legal age for receiving adult sentences to 16 years.
Rightwing Chile celebrates victory
Rightwing politicians in Chile were quick to celebrate Bolsonaro with his victory. President Sebastián Piñera, UDI-president Jacqueline Van Rysselberghe and Camila Flores (RN) congratulated their Brazilian counterpart on winning the elections. Also, José Antonio Kast, who visited the to-be president in Brazil during his campaign, said on Twitter that “Brazil has chosen the freedom and hope that Bolsonaro represents.” Kast added that he hopes common sense will keep triumphing in Latin-America.
Editor-In-Chief Boris van der Spek is the founder of Chile Today. He worked in Colombia, Surinam and the Netherlands as reporter and works with international media during major events, like the social crisis, the elections and the Pope’s visit.