News ID: 324436
Published: 0329 GMT October 03, 2022

Brazil wakes up to more weeks of uncertainty after election goes to runoff

Brazil wakes up to more weeks of uncertainty after election goes to runoff

After an inconclusive first round of presidential elections, Brazilians woke up Monday to another month of uncertainty in a deeply polarized political environment and with renewed fears of unrest.

Seeking to make a spectacular comeback, ex-president and frontrunner Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, 76, failed to garner the 50 percent of votes plus one needed to avoid an October 30 runoff against far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, 67, AFP reported.

Lula got 48.4 percent of the vote in Sunday's first round, followed by Bolsonaro with a much closer-than-expected 43.2 percent that seemed to signal a high level of enthusiasm for his conservative brand of "God, country and family" politics.

Lula had gone into Sunday's first round with 50 percent of polled voter intention, and Bolsonaro with 36 percent.

The divisive president's surprise performance likely spells a difficult time ahead, analysts said.

"I think it will be a very stressful campaign," Leonardo Paz, Brazil consultant for the International Crisis Group, told AFP.

"Bolsonaro and Lula will come... for each other, and I think Bolsonaro will double down on... saying that the system was against him."

Bolsonaro has repeatedly sought to cast doubt on Brazil's electronic voting system and has questioned the validity of opinion polls that have consistently placed him a distant second.

Now, with real-life results seeming to bear out his claims, "more people... may believe in what Bolsonaro is saying," said Paz.

The incumbent president has repeatedly hinted that he would not accept a Lula victory, raising fears of a Brazilian version of the riots last year at the US Capitol after former president Donald Trump refused to accept his election loss.

Late Sunday, Bolsonaro proclaimed to journalists: "We defeated the opinion polls' lie."

Passions will be high on both sides for the next four weeks.



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