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Trump of the tropics Bolsonaro wins Brazil presidential polls in blow to left

Trump of the tropics Bolsonaro wins Brazil presidential polls in blow to left

Trump of the tropics Bolsonaro wins Brazil presidential polls in blow to left
October 29
04:51 2018

Far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro wins Brazil’s presidential polls in a body blow to the country’s left-of-the-center politicians, who were in the saddle for the most part of its most recent history.

The vote went underway on Sunday, giving Bolsonaro 56 percent of the ballots and left-wing hopeful Fernando Haddad of the Workers Party (PT) 44 percent, with 94 percent of the ballots counted.

The PT ruled Brazil for 13 years of the last 15, suffering defeat only two years ago, amid sweeping public resentment at worsening economic conditions.

Sixty-three-year-old Bolsonaro, a former army captain and seven-term congressman, was also thrown to the fore by popular outrage at corruption and crime.

As assurances were in that he had swept the polls, he pledged to defend “the constitution, democracy and freedom.”

Brazilian presidential candidate for the Workers' Party, Fernando Haddad, waves at supporters in Sao Paulo, Brazil on October 28, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

His past remarks have, however, given rise to speculations that he could drive the country towards authoritarianism. On election trail, he would praise Brazil's 1964-1985 military dictatorship and defend its use of torture on leftist opponents.

“We cannot continue flirting with communism … We are going to change the destiny of Brazil,” he added.

He has vowed to grant the police more autonomy to shoot criminals, and seeks to let more Brazilians buy weapons.

Haddad was standing in for the PT founder and former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is in jail for corruption.

After learning about his defeat, he said he had a responsibility to join the opposition.

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