Brazilians are heading to the polls after what has been described because the nation’s most polarised election campaign, pitting far-right President Jair Bolsonaro in opposition to his left-wing rival, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Lula goes into the second spherical of presidential voting on Sunday with a secure lead over Bolsonaro, most up-to-date polls have proven.
Nevertheless, polling forward of the primary spherical underestimated voters’ assist for the incumbent, prompting public backlash and forcing a second spherical.
Right here’s all it is advisable to know concerning the tightly contested vote:
Why did the election go to a second spherical?
Brazil held a first round of voting on October 2, however not one of the 11 presidential candidates secured an outright majority.
That arrange Sunday’s run-off between Lula and Bolsonaro, who completed with 48 and 43 % assist, respectively.
Governorships in states the place no candidate received a first-round majority will even be up for grabs.
What have the presidential candidates promised?
Lula, who served as president from 2003 to 2010, has appealed to Brazilians to elect him to assist “rebuild and remodel” the nation after 4 years below Bolsonaro.
He has pledged to assist low-income residents and reinstate environmental safety insurance policies, particularly within the Amazon, which has seen a surge in deforestation and elevated assaults in opposition to Indigenous people in recent times.
Bolsonaro, whose mantra is “God, household, nation”, has introduced new assist programmes for poor Brazilians whereas selling financial improvement and promising to sort out crime and corruption. He additionally has burdened conservative values, together with his opposition to legalised abortion and medicines whereas falsely warning that Lula’s return would result in the persecution of church buildings.
“Lula’s campaign is about the past; that’s its largest power and largest weak point,” Brian Winter, vp for coverage on the Americas Society/Council of the Americas, not too long ago advised The Related Press.
“It’s the reminiscence of increase years of the 2000s that makes individuals wish to vote for him. However his unwillingness or incapability to articulate new concepts and herald recent faces has left him considerably helpless as Bolsonaro closes the hole.”
The place do Bolsonaro and Lula get most of their assist?
Usually, assist for Lula and his Employees’ Celebration has come from working-class Brazilians and rural areas. Bolsonaro has the backing of conservatives, evangelical Christians – a key voting bloc – and enterprise pursuits.
Election watchers will probably be paying shut consideration to what occurs in Minas Gerais, an inland state in Brazil’s southeast that’s thought-about “a micro-sample of the Brazilian citizens”, Al Jazeera’s Latin America editor Lucia Newman reported this week.
“If this race is as tight as most predict, each single vote will depend, particularly right here in Minas Gerais, the place no Brazilian president has ever received with out successful the state,” Newman stated.
What different points have come up through the marketing campaign?
Disinformation has been a major problem in Brazil all through the election cycle, consultants say, with a lot of it spreading on social media platforms, corresponding to TikTok in addition to by way of the messaging app WhatsApp.
Folks have falsely stated Lula desires to let males use public college bogs subsequent to little women whereas others have falsely alleged that Bolsonaro has made feedback confessing to cannibalism and paedophilia.
There was a rise in misinformation and disinformation being unfold on social media, stated Flora S Rebello Arduini, marketing campaign director at SumOfUs, a non-profit group that has monitored the issue within the context of Brazil’s elections.
Some of the regarding issues, she advised Al Jazeera, is that corporations have allowed advertisements on content material containing disinformation and hate speech and sowing mistrust within the electoral system.
She added that the Bolsonaro marketing campaign has been chargeable for a lot of the disinformation. “They’re following the playbook that [former US President Donald] Trump has put in place within the 2020 elections.”
What influence has that disinformation had?
For months, consultants have raised considerations that disinformation – particularly across the Brazilian electoral system – could lead to politically motivated violence.
There have been a number of violent incidents through the marketing campaign, together with one final week involving a former congressman who’s a Bolsonaro supporter. Roberto Jefferson opened hearth and threw stun grenades at federal police who had gone to arrest him on order from the Supreme Court docket for insulting considered one of its justices. Two officers have been injured.
Amnesty Worldwide’s Americas director, Erika Guevara-Rosas, warned on Friday that there had been an “exponential enhance” in stories of harassment and intimidation within the lead-up to the presidential vote.
“Electoral intimidation has been notably distinguished in non secular centres, and it has flooded social media, the place an increasing number of individuals, together with public figures, assault and persecute those that categorical an opinion completely different from their very own,” Guevara-Rosas stated in a press release.
“President Jair Bolsonaro and his administration should be certain that they disseminate dependable data, counter false statements and do every thing of their energy to forestall and condemn any assaults and intimidation within the days main as much as the presidential run-off vote,” she stated.
Might extra violence escape after the vote?
That has been a significant concern.
Bolsonaro for months has stated with out proof that Brazil’s electronic voting system is susceptible to widespread fraud. Observers have accused him of planning to contest the election outcomes equally to Trump, whom he has emulated.
Brazil was below authoritarian army rule from 1964 to 1985, and Bolsonaro – a former military captain – has expressed admiration for the previous regime, which has been described as a “brutal dictatorship” by rights teams. That has added to the tensions across the present election marketing campaign and spurred calls from lawmakers within the US and Europe for Bolsonaro to respect the outcomes.
In a letter late final month to European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen and the European Union’s overseas coverage chief, Josep Borrell, dozens of European legislators stated it was “essential” to dissuade Brazil’s army management from supporting “a coup”.
What else is at stake?
Forward of the primary spherical, Al Jazeera’s Manuel Rapalo stated many Brazilian voters seen the election “as a essential battle over the way forward for Brazilian democracy”.
That was recently echoed by Human Rights Watch researchers Deborah Brown and Maria Laura Canineu, who added that the “essential check for democracy and the rule of legislation” may even have implications past the nation’s borders, “given Brazil’s measurement and affect”.
The future of the Amazon, which is essential to combatting local weather change, additionally hangs within the steadiness. There was a surge in deforestation on this planet’s largest rainforest below Bolsonaro’s administration, prompting international condemnation.