Author: Emily

Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right firebrand, is the leading candidate for Brazil’s presidency

Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right firebrand, is the leading candidate for Brazil's presidency

Brazil’s presidential vote will go to second round on October 19th.

Brazil votes Wednesday in its presidential election after a vote in which leftist leader Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right firebrand, has challenged leftist ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Bolsonaro and center-right candidate Fernando Haddad, also from the Lula camp, are vying for the left-leaning Workers’ Party’s nomination to face Bolsonaro.

“I want to be president. I want to serve in the government,” Haddad told reporters who met him at his home in Sao Paulo after being declared the winner of the first round of voting at 8:30 p.m. (0330 GMT).

The second round on October 19th, also called runoff by Brazilian law, is scheduled for October 27th.

Bolsonaro has sought to paint himself as a champion of Brazil’s poor and his anti-corruption message is resonating with the electorate.

The candidate has pledged to “conquer” crime and protect Brazil’s “biodiversity.” He vowed to make Brazil a “mafia-free” nation and has threatened to impeach Lula over corruption charges.

“That’ll be our motto. I’m not going to let anyone get away with it,” Bolsonaro said.

Despite his tough rhetoric and promises to crack down on crime and corruption, Bolsonaro’s policies have been questioned by some politicians and journalists.

His decision to withdraw Brazil from the international nuclear accord with the United States has also been questioned, as has his appointment of a woman with no diplomatic experience, his rejection of a military agreement with Cuba, and his appointment of a woman to run state oil company Petrobras.

What’s most striking, however, is how a man who said he had “never been political before” became the leading candidate for Brazil’s presidency.

What’s happened to Bolsonaro?

Bolsonaro took over

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