June 1, 2023

Brighton Journal

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Brazil: Climate of War | Comment

From Rio de Janeiro

According to Brazilian electoral lawCampaign for the Ballot It started last Friday. But as already said here, In Brazil there is usually a long distance between reality and the law.

So there was no pause. What happened in a very short space of time for the two rival former center-left presidential campaigns Lula da Silva (photograph)And the current president, far right Jair BolsonaroSuitable for the fierce battle that is announced.

An unexpected increase

Lula finished with 48.4 percent of the vote in the first round, confirming the predictions of Brazil’s most respected polls and opinion polls. On the other hand, the extreme right was surprised: the same polls would have given him between 34 and 37 percent, but he achieved no less than 43.2.

Among the various explanations for this unexpected increase, analysts agree that voters have shifted from other candidates toward Bolsonaro, as well as those who declared themselves “undecided.” Everyone wanted to prevent Lula from winning in the first round.

In any case, the centre-left is still the favourite, but by a shorter distance than expected.

His advantage, recorded in that first week toward the ballot, is between eight and ten points. But ahead The volatility recorded in the previous round has raised concerns not only among those in charge of his campaign, but also among voters, the financial market, the international scene and defenders of democracy.

Brazil is clearly split down the middle, with the distance between Democrats and supporters of the worst and worst president in history unpredictable for anyone but Bolsonaro’s staunchest supporters.

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Recent polls confirm that The terrain is split down the middle, indicating an anxious environment. This first week leading up to the polls has seen no concrete government proposal, but instead an intense and furious shootout between the two sides.

A ridiculous lie

Lula’s campaign is burning against documented accusations by the far-right Bolsonaro spreads ridiculous lies on social media in shocking numbers Against the enemy, no one could stop their movement. He speaks for the disabled, but his aim is to reach out to more people.

The former president has received significant support from liberal and conservatism majorities, with an emphasis on economists who have collaborated with the former president. Fernando Henrique Cardoso And they have a strong influence among the owners of money, as well as historical figures of Brazilian social democracy.

Cardoso and many of his key former ministers are protecting votes for Lula in the name of protecting democracy.

In addition, the former president received the full support of a sitting senator and third-place candidate in the first round, a conservative Simon Debbett.

Governor’s support

Bolsonaro draws support from elected or re-elected governors in Brazil’s most populous and economically powerful provinces. (Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais), which does not necessarily translate into their vote among the electorate. And representatives of the extreme right, in addition Self-titled and powerful “bishops” of evangelical denominations.

They will be tense days between now and October 30. Lula continues to be a favorite, And everything points to him winning the election.

extreme polarization

But it is now clear that he will get a broken country as well as a divided, seriously divided country.

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No election since re-democratization has seen such a scenario. The presidents elected since 1989 have certainly had a divided Brazil, but among the various groups, there are two or three strong ones.

A country almost split in half With a Congress always dominated by rightists, far-rights, opportunists and corrupt people, that will be extra weight for Lula da Silva in 2023.

Another added weight – and cruel – are economic measures announced at the last minute Bolsonaro: In an effort to increase his voter support, he has announced “social benefits” of around five billion dollars.

Where he will get that money is unknown: for now, There will be gaps in education and health programsIn the next government starting in 2023, they must be hidden when Bolsonaro returns home or on his way to court.