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News > Latin America

Brazil Poised to Vote in Sunday's Presidential Elections

  • Brazilian electoral workers load a truck with ballot boxes for transportation to voting stations in Sao Paulo.

    Brazilian electoral workers load a truck with ballot boxes for transportation to voting stations in Sao Paulo. | Photo: Reuteres

Published 6 October 2018

Polls open October 7 in what has been one of Brazil's most controversial elections in a long time.

On October 7, Brazilians head to the polls to elect the country's new president and vice-president, along with 81 members of Congress, 513 members of the lower chamber and 27 state governors (including the Federal District of Brasilia).

A Bolsonaro Win is The Militarization of Politics in Brazil

This is one of the most controversial elections in a long time, and the first since Dilma Rousseff was ousted in a parliamentary coup and her vice-president Michel Temer unconstitutionally sworn-in. 

"Temer's huge unpopularity, and the fact no one directly voted to elect him, makes people see the elections as a return to legitimacy," historian and activist Adrian Dubinsky told teleSUR.

The race is between Workers Party (PT) presidential candidate Fernando Haddad and his running-mate Manuela D'avila, both backed by former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and Social Liberty Party (PSL) presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro, with vice-presidential hopeful Hamilton Mourao.

The leading candidate is Bolsonaro, who has been criticized nationally and internationally for his authoritarian, sexist, racist, homophobic and fascist comments and behavior.

His running-mate Mourao, a retired general, has suggested a military coup is possible in Brazil.

Speaking at an event in Brasilia and referring to Lula, Mourao said either the judicial system removes from politics "those elements involved in all those illicit acts" or the army would "impose" its will.

He added that "very well elaborated plans" for a military intervention had already been developed.

Both Mourao and Bolsonaro have repeatedly praised Brazil's military dictatorship (1964-1985), which tortured, forcibly disappeared and murdered thousands of people.

Outrageous Quotes That Prove Jair Bolsonaro is a Threat to Brazil's Democracy

In second place are the PT's Haddad and D'avila. Haddad served as minister of education from 2005, during Lula's presidency, to 2012, when Rousseff was serving her first term.

D'Avila hails from the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB). Aged 37, she nonetheless brings vast political and activist experience.

The latest polls from the Brazilian Institute of Public Opinion and Statistics (Ibope), Datafolha and Vox Populi put Bolsonaro at 35 percent (Datafolha), 32 percent (Ibope) and 34 percent (Vox Populi) of voter intention respectively.

Haddad, meanwhile, would get 22 percent (Datafolha), 23 percent (Ibope) and 27 percent (Vox Populi) of the vote.

According to the Ibope polls, the remaining candidates have the following percentage of support from voters: Ciro Gomes of the Labor Democratic Party is at 10 percent, Geraldo Alckmin of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party is fourth with 7 percent, and Marina Silva of the Network of Sustainability has 4 percent.

Polls also reveal Bolsonaro is the most rejected candidate: 55.7 percent of voters are against him, followed by Alckmin at 52.8 percent, Haddad with 48.3 percent, and Gomes with 37.1 percent.

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