US Reporter

Brazil’s Tight Presidential Race Leads to Runoff Between da Silva and Bolsonaro

Brazil is off to another round of polls after no candidate could secure a vote of more than 50% of the ballot. Millions of citizens went out and waited in front of voting booths to cast their ballots.

This would be a crucial moment for incumbent president Jair Bolsonaro as he bids for re-election. However, the tides went in favor of former president Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva.

More popularly known as Lula, da Silva secured around 48.4% of the ballots, which was already at 99% votes counted last Sunday. Bolsonaro came in second with 43.2% of the votes.

With da Silva only inches away from the threshold, the second round of voting should be a close fight between the two.

The predictions made by experts were only points higher or lower than what was reflected during the counting of the ballots.

However, the actual result favored Bolsonaro, who garnered 8 points higher than the prediction, while da Silva’s actual result was two or three points higher.

The nation will again vote for their preferred presidents this coming October 30. But, according to da Silva, he is confident that he could win the presidential race. Having won the race twice, in 2002 and 2010, da Silva has enough background and support to win the seat.

 “It will be important (to have a second round) because we will have the chance to do a face-to-face debate with the current president to know if he will keep on telling lies,” he said.

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Meanwhile, Bolsonaro appeared during a press conference and vowed to alleviate Brazil’s failing economic conditions, leaving the impoverished in dismal conditions. He appealed to the public and said that if given a chance to keep his position, he would combat the problems confronted by Brazilians.

“We have a second round ahead where everything becomes the same, the (television advertising) time for each side becomes the same. And now we are going to show it better for the Brazilian population, especially the most affected class, the consequence of the ‘stay at home; we’ll see the economy later’ policy,” the incumbent said.

Political divisiveness

Elections bring divide among citizens. The polarization of the votes between the two frontrunners had other presidential candidates worried about the divide that could damage the country.

Ciro Gomes from the Democratic Labour Party said he is concerned about the political polarization in Brazil.

“I have never seen a situation so complex, so challenging, so potentially threatening to our fortunes as a nation,” he said.

However, da Silva thinks differently.

“We don’t want more discord; we want a country that lives in peace. This is the most important election. I am really happy,” he said.

“Four years ago, I couldn’t vote because I had been the victim of a lie in this country. And four years later, I’m here, voting with the recognition of my total freedom and with the possibility of being president of the republic of this country again, to try to make this country return to normality.”

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Supporters are eager to elect a president

Pro-da Silva voters said they were a little disappointed with the results, adding that the race should have ended with da Silva getting the majority of the votes.

On the other hand, da Silva assured his supporters that once the runoff commences in the latter part of October, the victory will be on his side.

The showdown between Bolsonaro and da Silva should be greatly affected by who the third and fourth place contenders endorse.

Simone Tibet got 4% of the votes, and Ciro Gomes got 3%. Should da Silva retain all of his 48.2% votes plus a big fraction of the Gomes’ and Tibet’s, Brazil will have a new president.

“We came here expecting to have a party, to get very happy, to have some beers. But now we are going home to just sleep and wait for the next four weeks to see how they go,” said a supporter.

Photo Credit: AFP

Source: CNN

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