Can a Jair Bolsonaro presidency bring prosperity to the world’s eighth largest economy?
Former Army captain Jair Bolsonaro of the Social Liberal Party came out on top in the first round of presidential elections in Brazil over the weekend. However, he did not reach the needed 50% to avoid a runoff.
Bolsanaro received 46% compared to former Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad’s 29%. Yes, despite the large gap between the two men, they will have a runoff on October 28.
People have labeled Bolsonaro as the “Trump of Brazil” because of his anti-establishment views and social media presence. From The Financial Times:
His increasing popularity appears also due to deep dissatisfaction with a political culture many see as corrupt.
A political bribery investigation centred on former state-owned oil company Petrobras, known as Lava Jato or “Car Wash”, has targeted hundreds of politicians. About 60 per cent of Brazil’s 81 senators and a third of the 513 members of its lower house have been accused of a crime, the website Congresso em Foco found. Former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is serving more than 12 years in jail for corruption.
The AFP added that Bolsonaro has made himself seem like an outsider: “tough-talking, brash, and promising a root-and-branch overhaul to an electorate weary of traditional parties spouting empty promises.”
New Neo wrote last month about Bolsonaro, who is known as the Trump of Brazil. The press has called him far-right due to alleged racist and misogynist comments. New Neo wrote:
Short of that, I’ll just say that some of Bolsonaro’s utterances sound truly awful—for example, he told a newspaper that one congresswomen was “not worth raping” because “she is very ugly”. And he’s also recently said this, which sounds bad as well:
“This kind of people (criminals), you cannot treat them as if they were normal human beings, OK? We can’t let policemen keep dying at the hands of those guys,” Bolsonaro said on TV Globo’s main nightly news program. “If he kills 10, 15 or 20 with 10 or 30 bullets each, he needs to get a medal and not be prosecuted.”
A man stabbed Bolsanaro last month at a campaign rally.
Bolsonaro’s supporters did not approve of the results and screamed “Fraud!” when announced. The candidate did not contest the results:
Despite his complaints, Bolsonaro did not formally contest Sunday’s result, saying his voters “remain mobilized” for the second round.
But he faces fierce resistance going forward from a big part of Brazil’s 147-million-strong electorate, who are put off by his record of denigrating comments against women, gays and the poor.
His unabashed nostalgia for the brutal military dictatorship that ruled Brazil between 1964 and 1985 has sent a chill through many voters.
Haddad, though, has his own challenge.
As the Workers’ Party candidate, he bears the palpable disappointment and anger of voters who blame the party for Brazil’s worst-ever recession, and for a long string of graft scandals.
Will a Bolsonaro victory make a difference for the scandal-ridden Brazil? Probably not. His party should win a few more than 50 seats in Brazil’s “lower house of congress, while Haddad’s PT is expected to win a few more seats than the SLP in the same body.”
The Financial Times pointed out that markets have “come round to” Bolsonaro. In one speech he declared that Brazil has two paths: “one that represented prosperity, liberty, family and God and the other leading towards Venezuela.” He has promised “to maintain a liberal economic agenda.”
Investors liked this and the Brazilian real jumped up by 3.3% on Monday, which is the most in four months.
However, we have to remember that Brazil is as divided as America, which will cause the large country to remain “too weak to fulfill its dream of becoming a global power.” Discussions among investors and economics months ago concluded that Bolsonaro’s win “could prove a nightmare scenario for a country already suffering from deep political dysfunction.”DONATE
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