In this event, however, the Workers' Party candidate Lula da Silva, who is leading all voting intentions polls with over 47 percent of preferences, was not present.
President Jair Bolsonaro and five other candidates with little chance of winning the elections participated in what Brazilian journalists described as an "insipid debate" with no surprises. Although the former Capitan tried to keep a non-confrontational tone, he was severely criticized by all the contenders, without distinction of ideological positions.
For example, the right-wing Brazilian Democratic Movement candidate Simone Tebet, who barely has 5 percent of the voting intentions, accused Bolsonaro of despising women, minimizing the number of poor caused by his policies, and "disrespecting the pain of families" during the COVID-19 pandemic, which left nearly 700,000 dead.
Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rainforest spiked more than 80% in August from a year earlier, preliminary government data showed. Environmental advocates have blamed far-right President Jair Bolsonaro for the increase in deforestation https://t.co/AA4Qd7Itgtpic.twitter.com/JUFRUdqdbz
"He doesn't work, he's just jet skiing and keeps saying that 'nobody goes hungry.' We have a president who creates fake news and fosters hate," Tebet said, stressing that Bolsonaro is a "Pinocchio" who blatantly lies.
"Bolsonaro has surrendered to corruption," said the Democratic Labour Party candidate Ciro Gomes, who has a 7 percent vote intention. The Brazilian president unsuccessfully tried to deny all the accusations.
The third and final presidential debate will take place on Thursday, Sept. 29 and will be broadcast by O Globo, the outlet with the largest audience in Brazil.