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Brazil’s “Trump” Dominates Presidential Debate Despite Absence After Stabbing

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

Via Zerohedge

The far-right presidential candidate dubbed as Brazil’s “Donald Trump” – Jair Bolsonaro – is headed for victory Sunday as Brazilians go to the polls to choose among 13 candidates in the October 7 first-round elections, from which two candidates will emerge. This after he was nearly assassinated a mere month ago when a mentally disturbed socialist man stabbed the populist candidate at a campaign rally, puncturing his intestines in three places, sending him to the intensive care unit.

And incredibly telling was that in spite of being absent from the key most-watched TV Globo presidential debate Thursday night due his continued slow recovery from the severe wounds, his name still managed to dominate the national presidential debate.

International media reports widely acknowledged the obvious after the high stakes event — that Bolsonaro was “the main topic — and target” among his fellow contenders — even as a no-show due to doctor’s orders. Though he was merely able to give a televised interview from home, he remains the frontrunner in Sunday’s critical elections.

The prospect of a far-right Bolsonaro rapid come-from-behind upset victory has sent a number of media outlets and left-leaning organizations into a frenzied panic, with The Guardian, for example, warning in a Friday headline that the “prospect of Bolsonaro victory stokes fears of return to dictatorship.” And The Intercept lamented that Brazil’s current frontrunner is a “fiery former army captain with a history of homophobic, racist, and misogynistic remarks, including pro-torture statements and support for police killings.”

Weeks before the September 6th stabbing incident, The Economist featured a story outlining how the man who reportedly relishes in being compared to Donald Trump is “a threat to democracy” (at the time the publication described him as “a flame-throwing right-winger who is second in the polls”).

But apparently this deluge of attention — especially after the gruesome stabbing and attempted assassination thrust him into the international media spotlight — has only increased his popularity at the street level even as media elites claim Brazil is on the path of return to dictatorship.

Brazilian presidential candidates (left to right): Henrique Meirelles, Alvaro Dias, Ciro Gomes, Guilherme Boulos, Geraldo Alckmin, Marina Silva and Fernando Haddad. Via AFP

France24 charted the clear focal point of Thursday night’s presidential debate in the following:

  • Second place candidate Fernando Haddad, who was hand-picked by jailed former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, attacked Bolsonaro’s record as a lawmaker.
  • Third place Ciro Gomes said that electing the far-right hopeful would be like dancing near an abyss.
  • Leftist Guilherme Boulos said he feared a new military dictatorship would begin with a Bolsonaro presidency.

Currently Fernando Haddad of Lula’s Workers’ Party is a not too distant second behind Bolsonaro in the polls. However, years of corruption scandals and constant media attacks mean Brazilians sitting on the fence, but who by and large reject the Workers’ Party, could turn to Bolsonaro as the most viable alternative.

The latest figures have Bolsonaro polling at 35% support, which is a 3 percentage point jump since Tuesday, and Haddad at 22%, and the Datafolha poll has the pair deadlocked in a possible runoff vote. But perhaps most shocking is that support among women has shot up according to reportswith polls finding a 6% rise in support from women, apparently trumping his supposed history of sexism.

It is not likely that a president will be decided in the first round, something which hasn’t happened since 1998. France24 reports that the latest polls show “Bolsonaro has 39 percent of the valid votes, 11 points short of a majority needed for a first-round victory. Failing that, the two top vote-getters will face off on Oct. 28.”

Prior to the attack Bolsonaro was losing votes, but the incident brought instant national and international attention, and he’s spent much of September in the hospital.

The federal congressman has been hospitalized for most of September, and has frequently issued statements while in recovery — all of which appears to have helped him.

“People will start to see Bolsonaro as a victim,” predicted Luiz Roberto Monteiro, an analyst with Renascenca brokerage, in the immediate aftermath of the stabbing.

Bolsonaro, once feared by investors because of comments against privatizations and private investments, has become the most viable option against the left. And now he’s dominating even while absent from the campaign trail.


The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

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Eric Anderson
October 6, 2018

Bolsonaro has declared his intention to shut down congress. He supports the rape and torture of dissidents. He openly declares his support for military dictatorship. In this interview, he declares “We will kill 30,000 in the opposition, starting at the top. Not kicking them out of the country, but killing them for real. And if innocents are killed, too bad.” We who live in Brazil and whose loved ones could be the targets of the death squads are less sanguine than the Wall Street fat cats who look forward to the ongoing pillage of Brazil by international oligarchs.

You can call me AL
You can call me AL
Reply to  Eric Anderson
October 7, 2018

Doesn’t the US work in mysterious ways ?.

October 6, 2018

I truly hope that the candidates that do not make the grade will line up behind Haddad in the second round .Brazil desperately needs to be cleaned up politically , judicially and militarily .I have been following the the state of affairs in Brazil ever since they criminally impeached Dilma Rousseff and it has been downhill ever since.
IMHO Haddad is the best option and I hope he wins ,for the sake of all Brazilians .

October 6, 2018

He is more like a Duterte than a Trump.

Vera Gottlieb
Vera Gottlieb
October 6, 2018

No, he is NOT Brazil’s Trump – he is Bolsonaro and no one else. From the little I’ve read so far, this guy is a lot more vicious and dangerous than Trump. No, not defending Trump either.

October 7, 2018

The main thing that he has in common with Trump is being a puppet of the Neocons.

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