Tonight sees the second round of the 2018 Brazilian presidential election. The election has come down to two candidates, the far right Social Liberal Party candidate Jair Bolsonaro and the left-wing Workers Party candidate Fernando Haddad. With most polls closed at 5:00 pm Brazilian time, Bolsonaro is expected to win despite Haddad gaining ground in the polls in the last few weeks. In the first round, Bolsonaro won 46% of the vote whilst Haddad won 29%. What this means for the future of Brazil shall be explored as the night goes on but the likely Bolsonaro victory should worry progressive forces everywhere.
Bolsonaro To Face Opposition, Clashes Reported
Some final thoughts as the night draws to a close. Manuela D’Ávila, Fernando Haddad’s running mate and Communist Party member has called for “resistance” on Twitter stating that “We lost, it’s only fair that we become sad and worried, with us, with ours, with Brazil. But sadness has to quickly turn into resistance,”. Clashes have been reported among rival supporters although a heavy police presence on the street will intend to avoid the scenes after the first round results. However, reports are already coming in of LGBT+ members attempting to leave the country as they fear the worst, expectantly, of the far right demagogue. Whilst Bolsonaro no doubt intends to fulfil his goals, he faces opposition from a number of left parties in Congress and a potential militant working class who will no doubt resist the regimes neo-liberal reforms as they have done in the past. While the future is in doubt, the will of the Brazilian people is not.
Bolsonaro Makes Victory Speech, Worries As Fascism Rises
Within his speech, dull and televised as is his style, Bolsonaro stated that “We cannot continue flirting with communism … We are going to change the destiny of Brazil,” and has stated during the campaign that “we will shoot” Workers Party supporters and told “leftist outlaws” to either leave the country or find themselves in jail. It is important to stress this man is not just a populist nor is he Brazil’s answer to Trump. He is the ingrained representation of fascism within the Brazilian establishment. The Human Right Watch has announced people to resist the new regime whom they call a “pro-torture, openly bigoted member of Congress”. Haddad now defeated has stated in his closing speech that “We have a huge task: in the name of democracy, to defend the thinking, the freedom of these 45 million Brazilians”. The future of the party now at the whims of a far right administration is in doubt.
Far Right Victory: How and Why?
The question on many peoples minds not familiar with Brazilian politics is just how did such a uncompromising neo-liberal, openly homophobic and military junta enthusiast win the worlds eighth largest economy of nearly 210 million people. There are multiple factors, one glaring one being the disqualification of former president Lula who has long since topped the polls despite his corruption imprisonment. Both his and former president Rousseff’s corruption charges has led many to accuse the Brazilian establishment of a soft coup backed by the United States in order to open up the economy to liberalisation. Brazil’s history of dictatorship and populism may also be a driving factor. Bolsonaro’s hardliner rhetoric on crime will likely also have won votes from many fearing Brazil’s rising crime levels. Bolsonaro’s anti-leftist rhetoric also plays on previous Brazilian political fear mongering from the past against supposed communist takeovers. Whatever the reason, Bolsonaro likely intends on fulfilling his promises whatever the cost to Brazilian society.
Bolsonaro Winner Of Deeply Divided Electorate
With more 88 percent of the vote counted Bolsonaro has 55.7 percent whilst Haddad has 44.3 percent of the vote. The divisions in Brazilian society cannot be summed up in these numbers alone though. This past week a Roger Waters concert saw fights in the crowd when he displayed an anti-fascist message on the screen. After the first round, a woman wearing an anti-Bolsonaro shirt was marked with a swastika by a knife wielding gang. More than 20 Brazilian universities were invaded by military police in the past 2 days confiscating anti-fascist banners claiming electoral propaganda. Lula the likely favourite to previously win the election for the workers party has been arrested on corruption charges. This is a deeply divided nation and what comes next is anyone’s guess but it is not likely to be pretty.
Bolsonaro To Become President of Brazil, Future of Progressive Forces in Brazil Bleak
With the full election result to be announced shortly, it is now highly likely Brazil will be governed by a man who has defended the use of the torture, admired the deeds of the Chilean mass murderer Pinochet and has described himself as “homophobic – and very proud of it”. While the future of the Brazillian left is unknown it is likely to be bleak. Bolsonaro has threatened a purge of left wing figures from society and already his supporters have murdered multiple civilian opponents. The future is now doubtful for those on the left within Brazil.
Exit Poll: Bolsonaro Leads Brazil Election With 56% of Votes
Tonight’s exit poll has predicted a Bolsonaro victory with a majority of 56% of the vote almost mirroring the last surveys from Saturday. Bolsonaro, the extreme right candidate is on course to be Brazil’s next president
With exit polls expected anytime soon, a brief look at the candidates can begin. Jair Bolsonaro is one of Brazil’s most recognisable modern political figures due to his far right controversial rhetoric. A self described moralist, he promotes the liberalisation of the economy and the relaxing of gun laws across Brazil. He has positioned himself strongly as tough on crime and corruption, issues which have been at the forefront of Brazilian politics recently. His politics can be further explored in an another TPN article written here. His, opponent Fernando Haddad is the former mayor of Sao Paolo and is the replacement candidate for former president Lula Da Silva whose candidacy was barred by the Supreme Court. He is of Lebanese origin and seeks to carry on with the Workers Party’s current social-economic policies of state interventionism and the protection of minority rights. His vice presidential pick is Communist Party legislator Manuela d’Ávila. The candidates are at opposite ends of the spectrum hence the viciousness of the campaign.
The Election So Far
Today’s election, fought between far right Social Liberal Party candidate and Workers Party candidate Fernando Haddad has been a tumultuous one. The past couple of weeks has seen widespread violence committed by rival supporters with multiple instances of violent assaults even deaths. Despite this today’s election did not see some of the violence as reported before. The Organization of American States’, who are holding an electoral mission in Brazil, has stated that the voting taking place today has been in a climate of “tranquillity and normality.” Whilst Bolsonaro is expected to win today, Haddad still has a chance with polls narrowing recently. Bolsonaro’s first round win however, with 46% of the vote is likely to showcase his expected victory tonight.