Brazil's Bolsonaro wins presidential run-off

Brazils right-wing candidate poised to win presidential election

Brazils right-wing candidate poised to win presidential election

Brazil's right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro won the country's presidential run-off on Sunday, garnering more than 55 percent of the vote, according to the Superior Electoral Court.

Bolsonaro rose in prominence amid disgust with Brazil's political system.

The election campaign has been deeply divisive. Several Brazilian heavyweights came out against him, arguing that he was a direct risk to the world's fourth-largest democracy.

With the outgoing president's approval rating at a record low of 2%, voters clamoured for change but they were deeply divided on which way that change should go. "It is a phenomenon which is maybe linked to a form of democratic fatigue", he continued, before calling on defenders of democracy to "launch a counter-attack". "I always felt the presence of God and the force of the Brazilian people", he said. And I guarantee you that I will. "We will continue doing the rigorous, independent research and advocacy we have carried out in Brazil for the last decades in defense of human rights for all Brazilians, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, political beliefs, or religion".

The 63-year old former army captain has been criticized for his misogynistic, homophobic, and militaristic views, but has amassed large numbers of supporters for his outspoken rhetoric, promising to crack down on violent crime.

His left-leaning opponent, Fernando Haddad of the Workers Party, took 44 percent. For them, a vote for Bolsonaro was a clear break from the past. He also pledged to realign Brazil with more advanced economies rather than regional allies, overhauling diplomatic priorities after almost a decade and a half of leftist rule.

How did rival supporters react?

Mr. Witzel caused quite a stir upon reaching the runoff, defeating a host of traditional candidates, thanks to his connections with Jair Bolsonaro.

With much of the country's wealth concentrated in cities such as São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Bolsonaro - who will head a religious, conservative government that echoes the military dictatorship (1964-1985) - is unlikely to heal his country's deep divisions. The people have spoken. "For the first time I feel represented", said Andre Luiz Lobo, 38, a businessman who - not incidentally, given accusations of racism against his candidate - is black.

That trend continued to the point that polls Saturday had him supported by 42 percent of women voters, compared with 41 percent for Haddad. He has even been charged with hate speech by Brazil's attorney general.

Bolsonaro voted in a military district in Rio de Janeiro, greeted by supporters shouting "legend" and "president". Bolsonaro has vowed to use similar tactics to take on Brazil's crime.

But his win is going to be a blow for millions.

A week ago, Bolsonaro vowed to run all the "red" leftists out of Brazil or put them in jail, harsh words that probably contributed to the narrowing of his lead.

In Brazil the vote in the second round of the presidential election.

What about reaction from outside Brazil?

Trump spoke of "a strong commitment to work side-by-side" on issues affecting Brazil, the U.S. and beyond, the White House said.

What is Bolsonaro likely to do once in office?

He's chillingly told a campaign rally: "Let's make Brazil for the majorities". He has portrayed himself as a hardliner who will restore safety to Brazil's streets.

One of his flagship policies is to restore security by relaxing gun laws and suggested that "every honest citizens" should be able to own a gun. There were numerous reports of politically motivated violence, especially directed at gay people.

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