Jannah Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro and Lula make final appeals for vote | WGN 720 Radio

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva made final appeals for support ahead of Sunday’s presidential runoff after a heated face-to-face debate.

The right-wing Bolsonaro took part in a motorcycle rally on Saturday in Belo Arizona, the state capital that usually backs the winner – and where he finished second to his left-wing rival in the first round of voting.

Da Silva’s supporters, meanwhile, rallied in the country’s largest city, Sao Paulo, where Simone Tebet — the center-right candidate who finished third in the first round — secured a victory for Da Silva in the second round.

“I voted for Tebet in the first round and now in the second round I am voting for Lula against Bolsonaro. I have reservations about the Workers Party (before Silva), but I will put that aside this weekend,” said Marcelo Ehrlich, a 55-year-old leader.

The appearance followed a combative debate Friday night on Globo TV that centered on the economy, an issue that could sway some of the few undecided voters.

Da Silva, who leads in opinion polls and is trying to win back the job he held from 2003 to 2010, has again pledged to increase spending on the poor, though he has not laid out a clear plan for how to do so.

He also said that because of inflation, the minimum wage is now worth less than it was when Bolsonaro was inaugurated.

Bolsonaro quickly pledged to raise the minimum wage from $229 a month to $265 next year, although that was not included in the budget proposal he has already sent to Congress. He said the economic downturn during the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented a minimum wage increase, but said the economy is improving.

“We did better than you would have done,” the president told da Silva. “We are ready to take off. Now we have one of the best economies in the world.”

Mario Sergio Lima, senior Brazil analyst at Medley Global Advisors, said the final debate is unlikely to sway many voters.

“Bolsonaro needed to score a big victory. … He didn’t do very well in focus groups of undecided voters or in online mentions,” Lima said, referring to polls published in real time online. “Now it’s up to the edited videos that both companies will create to energize their fans.”

Bolsonaro, who at one point said, “The whole system is against me,” looked shaken at times.

The debate marked a change from their only previous meeting, when da Silva focused on the president’s widely criticized handling of the pandemic, which has killed more than 680,000 Brazilians, while Bolsonaro tackled a corruption probe that has tarnished his opponent and the Workers’ Party as a whole. On Friday, the candidates touched on these topics again, but did not dwell on them.

Da Silva has repeatedly tried to characterize Bolsonaro’s administration as isolated in the world, citing his lack of travel and allies abroad. Bolsonaro responded that his trip to Russia secured fertilizer shipments ahead of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, helping Brazilian agribusiness, and said the Middle East welcomed him “with open arms.”

Bolsonaro ended by thanking God for saving his life after he was stabbed during the 2018 presidential campaign and invoked his faith in an appeal to religious voters. Earlier in the debate, he threw his hands up and raised his hands, shouting his motto: “God! Country! Family!”

The most tense moment of the debate came when Bolsonaro called on Silva to stand next to him as he answered a question. “Stay here, Louis,” the president said.

The former president shot back, “I don’t want to be around you,” before turning his back.

In an interview with Globo TV after the debate, Bolsonaro said he would respect the results of the vote. Many analysts are concerned that he has laid the groundwork for challenging the results if they are unfavorable, similar to former US President Donald Trump.

“There is no doubt: whoever has more votes gets it,” Bolsonaro said. “That’s what democracy is.”


Related Articles

Back to top button