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Brazilian Presidential Election, Oct 2nd & 30th

  • 15-09-2022 2:26pm
    Registered Users Posts: 19,462 ✭✭✭✭

    Anyone been following this? It is set to be an extremely fractious election in a Brazil that is deeply divided along urban and rural lines and liberal and conservative lines. The parallels with the 2020 US election are remarkable as well as Bolsonaro has been laying the groundwork for some time now to use the Trump playbook of claiming a stolen election if he loses by a small margin.

    On one side there is the former Brazilian president (2003-2011) and centre left candidate Lula de Silva who is currently leading in the polls. Lula is very popular despite spending almost two years in prison as he was found guilty of corruption in a massive bribery scandal. The resulting investigation dubbed Operation Carwash saw dozens of senior Brazilian politicians end up in prison for taking bribes. Lula had a beachfront apartment gifted to him by a developer and his country mansion renovated for free by another. He was then released from prison in 2021 on a technicality of the courts jurisdiction. He and his supporters claim his conviction was politically motivated by a partisan judge. Either way his alleged crimes took place in a different state to where he was convicted so his sentence was deemed null and void and he was released.

    Then on the other side the incumbent Bolsonaro on the far right appeals to the rural poor and Christian evangelicals. He is openly homophobic and refers to gays as faggots at his rallies where his supporters chant that he will kill them. Bolsonaro is a former military captain who came out of nowhere to win the Presidency in 2018. Because huge swathes of the Brazilian establishment were facing corruption charges he was about the only clean candidate left standing and his vote surged. Since then he has deeply divided the country and he led the worst response to Covid worldwide with almost 700,000 Brazilians losing their lives while he spouted his anti vax views. He is also on record as saying he would prefer Brazil goes back to being a military led dictatorship like in the 1980s and he has huge support among the military and its generals.

    The potential for political violence either during the election campaign or after the results comes in is sizeable here. In the 2018 campaign Bolosonaro himself was stabbed in the stomach at a rally and almost lost his life. On this occasion he has torn up gun ownership laws in Brazil and it is now easier than ever to buy weapons with his supporters stockpiling guns and ammunition since he changed the law. It is an absolute powder keg of a situation there and it has all the ingredients for political violence should Bolsonaro lose which is currently expected.

    The Brazilian system is a first round vote that will take place on October 2nd. This will reduce the field down to a head to head run off between Lula and Bolsonaro, the voting for which will happen on October 30th. In the polls Lula has a lead of between 6% and 11% and collectively they have around 75% of the vote between them meaning that another 25% is up for grabs in the final run off. The bookies currently have Lula as the 1/3 favourite with Bolosonaro on 2/1. Polling in Brazil isnt the most reliable so the contest is likely to be closer than the bookies odds currently suggest. Lulas numbers have generally stayed steady at around 40% over the last 6 months whereas Bolsonaros have been as low as 20% during Covid but are back to up around 33-35% now.

    There are almost 160 million registered voters in Brazil and voting there is compulsory for citizens with turnouts in the 80-90% range. Meaning pretty much the entire Brazilian population is engaged and focused on this election. Its a bizarre situation in that even if Bolsonaro were to lose removing him from power isnt a certainty, especially given his close ties to the military class, many of whom yearn for the days of a military dictatorship. Some analysts are saying that if he loses by a tight margin then like Trump he will absolutely refuse to accept the election results and Brazil will be plunged into crisis. There is also a 2 month period between the election results and the next President being sworn in which is a political vacuum where anything could happen.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,653 ✭✭✭✭DaCor

    Yeah its a nutcase of a scene over there and its a very real possibility that things could turn violent.

    Even the standards of reporting and journalism don't help

    The choice between Lula or Bolsonaro is a poor one too so the country is fubar'ed no matter what.

    Its honestly impressive how quickly its all turning to crap over there.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,462 ✭✭✭✭Muahahaha

    Lula has now stretched his lead in the polls by 13 points but Bolsonaro and his supporters will not accept the results of the election.

    Plus the political violence has started with three dead already

    Meanwhile, fears over election-related violence persist after Brazilian police said earlier this week that a 39-year-old Lula supporter was stabbed to death in a bar after reportedly telling another patron about his voting intentions. The newspaper O Povo reported that witnesses told police a man entered a bar in the city of Cascavel on Saturday and asked who was voting for Lula. A man said, “I will”, and then was stabbed. He died in hospital the same day.

    Brazilian media reported that police in the state of Santa Catarina, a Bolsonaro stronghold, are investigating a second killing that could be linked to politics. On Saturday, a 34-year-old man died after being stabbed in Rio do Sul, a city of 72,000 residents. Bolsonaro supporters have said on social media channels that Hildor Henker was killed in a bar fight after he voiced his support for the far-right leader.

    Earlier in the campaign, a Bolsonaro backer killed a local official of Lula’s Workers’ Party in the city of Foz de Iguacu and there have been less serious clashes between backers of both candidates.

    The situation is set to get worse given Bolsonaro is openly saying he will not accept the election results

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,947 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout

    The big question is, will the military side with Bolsanaro when he loses and cries foul?

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,462 ✭✭✭✭Muahahaha

    I think that is exactly what he is counting on, he is former military himself and has openly spoken about how Brazil would be better off under a military dictatorship like back in the 80s. The military generals will be all set to gain from that should it happen. He has been spending the last few days attacking Supreme Court judges who he sees as standing in his way if/when they declare the election results as legitimate and Lula as the winner. There is a two month transition period so lots of time for his supporters to get violent to allow the military say they are stepping in and imposing martial law The entire country is on a knife edge between democracy and dictatorship.