Bolsonaro Election Effect Turns Brazil's Congress on Its Head

Bolsonaro Election Effect Turns Brazil's Congress on Its Head

Bolsonaro Election Effect Turns Brazil's Congress on Its Head

With 92 per cent of votes counted, Mt Bolsonaro had received 47 per cent of valid votes, far ahead of former Sao Paulo mayor and leftist rival Fernando Haddad's 28 per cent, electoral court TSE reported.

The former Army captain, dubbed "Tropical Trump" because of his nationalist agenda and anti-establishment tirades, won almost half the votes thanks to a surge in support sparked by growing anger at corruption and antipathy towards scandal-plagued traditional parties in Latin America's largest nation. The clear probability is that after Brazil's run off vote in three weeks, Jair Bolsonaro will be the latest in a slew of anti-establishment leaders to take office around the world.

Many voters, already disillusioned with their democracy, said they felt trapped by the choice between the two front-runners, a sentiment likely to deepen in the weeks to come.

Many analysts thought Mr Bolsonaro would win the first round of voting but face a runoff between the two top vote-getters which he would he lose.

Bolsonaro only needs a few more points to secure victory, but Haddad's supporters vowed Monday to launch a tough fight to make up ground after he finished a distant second in the first round. "We need to unify Brazil, to pacify it", he said.

He has advocated that mainstream Brazilian politicians be killed.

In this September 20, 2018 photo, Barbara Aires, 35, poses for a photo next to a mural of slain councilwoman Marielle Franco, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In Sao Paulo, supporters celebrated on a main avenue with a giant inflatable doll in military uniform depicting Bolsonaro's running mate, retired general Hamilton Mourão.

Brazil's Workers' Party (PT) became the top political party in the lower house of the country's Congress, taking 57 seats out of the body's 513, while the far-right Social Liberal Party (PSL) of Jair Bolsonaro made a strong showing, coming in second with 51 seats.

But a Haddad voter, Jose Dias, said it would be a "catastrophe" if Bolsonaro triumphed. The surge gave the party 10 percent representation in the chamber, making it the second largest party after the Workers' Party, which won presidential elections in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014. "A miracle would be for Bolsonaro to see the light and govern the country for the people, for him to become less radical". "We carry the force of arguments to defend Brazil and its people". Haddad, the Workers' Party standard-bearer who was appointed by jailed ex-President Luiz Inacio da Silva, got 29 percent in the first round, and polls have predicted a close race in the runoff.

Bolsonaro often uses crime as a lens through which to sketch out a broad indictment of the left: What he calls its coddling policies toward the poor, marginalized and criminal and its push to protect the rights of minorities at what he says is the expense of the majority.

Geneis Correa, 46, a business manager in Brasilia, said she voted for Bolsonaro and would support a coup if the PT wins, blaming the party for rampant corruption. In Minas Gerais state, exit polls showed another Bolsonaro ally scoring an upset victory in the governor's race.

In Rio de Janeiro, Clara Gentil turned out to vote in Copacabana, wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the message "Not him". "Bolsonaro will have to set aside his hate speeches and straighten out contradictions between his aides", Santoro said.

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