Dubbed a “Tropical Trump” by some pundits because of his nationalist agenda and anti-establishment tirades, Jair Bolsonaro was swept from the political margins this year by a wave of antipathy toward scandal-plagued traditional parties. “Bolsonaro is an example of honesty. Our country needs someone to take tough measures,” said civil servant Orlando Senna, who said his uncle served in the army with Bolsonaro.
If Jair Bolsonaro gets more than 50 percent of the vote to lead the field of 13 candidates, he will win the presidency outright. Otherwise, a run-off will be held on October 28. Analysts say a first-round victory for Bolsonaro is possible — but unlikely. “Bolsonaro is the best for the country today — he is the hope of a better country. If we don’t have Bolsonaro, we will become a Venezuela,” said one demonstrating government worker, Cacio de Oliveira.
In a series of marches stretching from Manaus in the Amazon jungle to the megacity of Sao Paulo in the nation’s southeast, demonstrators organised under the hash tag #EleNao, or #NotHim, are pledging not to vote for the candidate who has made light of rape and called the gender pay gap justified. Bolsonaro, a federal deputy from Rio de Janeiro, is the frontrunner in opinion polls, winning over many Brazilians with his ultra-hard-line stance on crime, unvarnished rhetoric, and a career that has been largely free of corruption accusations.
Brazil’s jailed ex-leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva tapped his runningmate Fernando Haddad on Tuesday to replace him on the ballot in next month’s presidential election, bowing out of the race after he was barred from seeking a new term.
“The decision has been made,” a party official said.
Brazil’s presidential front-runner, Jair Bolsonaro, lost 40% of his blood after he was stabbed on Thursday, hospital officials say, just a month before the vote, raising fears of increased violence in the wide-open race. “I just want to send a message to the thugs who tried to ruin the life of a family man, a guy who is the hope for millions of Brazilians: You just elected him president. He will win in the first round,” Flavio Bolsonaro, Bolsonaro’s son, said on Friday.