Could a Far-Right Politician Be Brazil’s Next President? | NYT News


This is Jair Bolsonaro,
the far-right candidate that may become
Brazil’s next president. He’s been compared
to President Trump and Filipino president
Rodrigo Duterte for his highly
controversial statements, including his embrace
of the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil for 20 years. Bolsonaro is a retired
military captain who has been in Congress
since 1991. He’s been in the
fringe far right for most of his
political career, making headlines more for
his outrageous statements than for any political
achievements. In one infamous
episode in 2003, he had an argument with
a fellow congresswoman who accused him of
promoting violence. Over the years,
he’s had a long list of other divisive remarks. Last year, as he was toying
with a presidential run, he managed to take aim
at several groups in one statement alone. Despite the incendiary comments, Bolsonaro’s popularity has
grown in recent years. He’s vowed to crack
down on crime, a message that is resonating
with many Brazilians. Bolsonaro wants to make it
easier to own guns and has said he’d give police
permission to kill suspects. But most of all, he represents
extreme opposition to the leftist Workers’ Party, of former President Lula,
who’s now in jail serving a 12-year sentence
on corruption charges. Bolsonaro’s Workers’ Party
rival in the election is Fernando Haddad,
a former mayor of São Paulo and minister under Lula. Bolsonaro uses voters’ distrust
in the Workers’ Party to his favor and relies heavily on social media
to spread his message. In September, he was
stabbed during a rally and spent three
weeks in a hospital. He continued to campaign
through live videos on Facebook. But his past statements
continue to spark anger. Women across the country have rallied against Bolsonaro using the hashtag #EleNão,
or Not Him. Despite the critics, Bolsonaro
continued rising in polls. In the first round
of the election, he won 46% of the vote. He’s going to a runoff on
Oct. 28 against Haddad, who now faces
an uphill battle.

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