Brazil’s far-right candidate seals first-round win

Sao Paulo/Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Brazil’s turbulent 2018 presidential election will go to a second round runoff between far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro and Fernando Haddad of the left-leaning Workers’ Party (PT).

Bolsonaro nearly took Sunday’s election in the first round as he and his team insisted he would but in the end just missed the required 50 percent of votes needed to avoid a runoff, winning 46 percent instead. Haddad won 29 percent of the vote.

The second round is scheduled for October 28 with much more drama promised in the meantime in a Brazil now seemingly more bitterly divided than ever.

Bolsonaro, 63, a seven-time congressman for Rio, questioned the legitimacy of the results, alleging problems with Brazil’s electronic voting machines: an accusation he put forward throughout his campaign that was often repeated by his supporters.

“I am certain that if this hadn’t happened, we would have known the name of the president of the republic tonight,” Bolsonaro said in a live Facebook video feed, looking tired and dishevelled alongside his economic adviser and finance minister, Paulo Guedes.


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