Brazils right-wing candidate poised to win presidential election

Jair Bolsonaro

Jair Bolsonaro

Former Army captain Jair Bolsonaro won Brazil's presidential election on Sunday night, riding a wave of frustration over corruption and crime that brought a dramatic swing to the right in the world's fourth-largest democracy.

Jair Bolsonaro, a former army officer, is the clear favourite to win against his left-wing rival Fernando Haddad, a former mayor of the city of Sao Paulo.

And amid the election of two of Mr. Bolsonaro's sons to Brazil's House and Senate, respectively, critics like Jose Paulo Bandeira, a political scientist at Rio de Janeiro Federal University, are already warning of what they view as nepotism and oligarchy.

Haddad has reduced Bolsonaro's lead from 12 to 8 percentage points in five days, according to the Ibope polling firm that gave him 46 percent of voter support compared with Bolsonaro's 54 percent.

An outspoken admirer of U.S. President Donald Trump, Bolsonaro also pledged a smaller government and to realign Brazil with more advanced economies, overhauling diplomatic priorities after almost a decade and a half of leftist rule. But he is also very much a product of a ideal storm in Brazil that made his messages less marginalized: widespread anger at the political class amid years of corruption, an economy that has struggled to recover after a punishing recession and a surge in violence.

Bolsonaro, a 63-year-old former army paratrooper, managed to capitalize on the disappointment and anger of a population hit by years of recession and stagnation and tired of corruption scandals.

"We have the responsibility to mount an opposition, putting national interests, the interests of the entire Brazilian people, above everything", Haddad said.

Yet Haddad appeared to be shoring up at least some support among those fearful of a Bolsonaro presidency.

But Rodrigo Janot, Brazil's influential former prosecutor general under whose watch the country's unprecedented investigations and prosecutions of endemic political graft took place, tweeted late Saturday that he would vote for Haddad.

Representatives of the Chinese government have traveled to Brasilia, capital of Brazil, in a bid to end tensions with presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro, who is now leading polls.

"Brazil has independent judges, committed prosecutors and public defenders, courageous reporters, and a vibrant civil society", said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch. He has said Brazil´s military dictatorship (1964-1985) made a mistake by torturing people when it should have killed them, repeatedly referred to one of the worst torturers of the dictatorship as a "hero", and said police should have "carte blanche" to kill criminal suspects.

"In 16 years of the (Workers' Party), I have been robbed, but never threatened", Neto said by Twitter. Haddad struggled to build momentum with his promises of a return to the boom times by investing in health and education and reducing poverty. In 2016, then-President Dilma Rousseff of the Workers' Party was impeached and removed from office on charges that many on the left felt were politically motivated. He also wants to let more Brazilians buy weapons to fight crime. However, the populist could add 10 points of advantage over Haddad without much effort, campaigning from home after the stab he suffered during a street rally in early September. "He felt a change in the flow of opinions, a need for a representative of conservatism - of certain values and concrete questions like security and anti-corruption".

Trump trod a very similar path. "Bolsonaro is essentially saying, 'Fairness means that I win".

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