Brazil: Former Pres. Lula Leads as Presidential Campaign Begins
On Tues., Brazil's presidential campaign, which political experts expect to be the most polarized in decades, officially kicked off with former Pres. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva leading incumbent Jair Bolsonaro in the polls.
- On Tues., Brazil's presidential campaign, which political experts expect to be the most polarized in decades, officially kicked off with former Pres. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva leading incumbent Jair Bolsonaro in the polls.
- The most recent survey, released Mon., gives Lula a 12-point lead in the first round and a 16-point advantage in the event of a second round. A run-off will take place if no candidate wins 50% plus one of the valid votes.
- Although the latest polls indicate Bolsonaro has been narrowing the presidential race, it's unclear if this could be game-changing, as he would have to take votes directly from Lula.
- This comes as Brazil's economy and job market are performing better than expected, as well as the launch of a $118 cash transfer program to millions of low-income Brazilians and a federal reduction in state sales tax on fuels.
- Fears of political violence have risen ahead of the election as Bolsonaro was stabbed in the 2018 campaign and Lula's supporters have been targeted recently. Bolsonaro has also raised doubts about the electronic voting system in use since 1996.
- 156.4M Brazilians are entitled to cast their votes in the upcoming elections, which will take place on Oct. 2. A possible run-off is scheduled for Oct. 30.
Sources: Dw, Al Jazeera, Guardian, Country, Voa, and AgenciaBrasil.
- Left narrative, as provided by The Guardian. Bolsonaro's disastrous term has changed the minds of the Brazilian voters who elected him in 2018. He has systemically threatened democracy by gathering support within the armed forces, attacking the Supreme Court, and baselessly claiming the election could be rigged. If he stays in office, not only would democracy be endangered, but so would the Amazon rainforest.
- Right narrative, as provided by Breitbart. Lula used his political influence over Brazil's top court to have his convictions of corruption overturned and allow him to run for office again. While the mainstream media claims that Bolsonaro threatens democracy and the environment, it was during Lula's two terms that Brazil deepened ties with authoritarian states such as China, Cuba, Russia, and Venezuela, and fires in the Amazon hit all-time high rates.
- Cynical narrative, as provided by The Washington Post. Although the Brazilian electoral dispute between a vengeful left and a toxic right will be hyped as a turning point for the nation, whoever takes office will have to deal with the hyper-fragmented party system that only benefits the "Centrão", or the "Big Middle" – the congressional majority without clear principles that has historically been able to control presidents.