In Brazil started the second round of presidential elections

Jo Lloyd
October 31, 2018

Bolsonaro's victory over leftist candidate Fernando Haddad marks a lunge to the right for Latin America's largest country, after a divisive campaign marked by widespread outrage at the political class - but also fears over Bolsonaro's denigrating remarks about women, gays and blacks. He's now been announced as the president-elect.

However, polls published late Saturday from Brazil's two biggest surveying firms showed momentum shifting toward Haddad, though he still trails Bolsonaro by a solid margin.

Jair Bolsonaro is the new president of Brazil.

People on their way to vote at a polling station of Rocinha, a shantytown in Rio de Janeiro.

"I first want to thank God", Bolsonaro told supporters in a video transmitted from his home in Rio, recounting how he was stabbed while campaigning last month and nearly died.

Presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro is taken on the shoulders of a supporter moments before being stabbed during a campaign rally in Juiz de Fora, Brazil, Sept. 6, 2018. "God bless Brazil and its new government!" The people have spoken.

Supporters wearing t-shirts emblazoned with Bolsonaro's face and Brazil's yellow and green national colours assembled outside his house in the Barra da Tijuca neighbourhood of Rio de Janeiro.

Bolsonaro, who has earned the nickname the "Trump of the Tropics", takes office on January 1.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Brazil's president-elect Jair Bolsonaro on Monday night, congratulated him on his election victory and said it would surely lead to a strengthening of ties between Israel and Brazil.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International said that taking into account his campaign pledges, Mr Bolsonaro's victory could pose a "huge risk" to Brazil's indigenous peoples, LGBT communities, black youth, women, activists and civil society organisations.

Bolsonaro, 63, repulses a large part of the electorate - and many outside the country - with his overtly misogynistic, homophobic and racist rhetoric.

The former army captain has commented that he would rather his sons die than come out as gay, and told a female politician that she "wasn't worth raping".

The highly controversial Lula, who stands accused of masterminding the massive pilfering of state oil company Petrobras, is serving a 12-year sentence for bribery.

Two years ago he commented that the dictatorship's mistake was "to torture and not kill" leftist dissidents, and during his campaign he vowed to send opponents "into exile or into prison".

Haddad also did better in Brazil's cities, taking 2,810 compared with Bolsonaro's 2,760.

The French presidency struck a more cautious tone, saying that "France and Brazil have a strategic partnership based around common values of respect and the promotion of democratic principles".

In Sao Paulo, the economic capital, Marcos Kotait, 40, a publicist, said he had "never seen such a polarized election" as he waited to cast his ballot.

"Canada and Brazil enjoy a deep relationship. numerous relationships between people and businesses, as well as. our close cooperation on security and defence, agriculture, education, technology and innovation", she said.

For supporters, he is a politician who they say will bring much needed change to the country - a swing to the right after four elections won by the left.

Among those crises: Brazil's economy shrank almost seven percent during its worst-ever recession, from 2015 to 2016; the multi-billion-dollar Petrobras scandal has left voters disgusted with the seemingly bottomless corruption of politicians and business executives; and there is widespread outrage over violent crime, in a country that registered a record 63,880 murders previous year. In 2016, then-President Dilma Rousseff of the Workers' Party was impeached and removed from office on charges that many on the left felt were politically motivated.

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