A look at the campaign proposals made by Brazil's Bolsonaro

Clay Curtis
October 8, 2018

Far-right populist Jair Bolsonaro failed to secure an absolute majority in Sunday's first round of presidential elections, setting up a decisive October 28 runoff between Mr. Bolsonaro and center-left Workers' Party candidate Fernando Haddad.

Bolsonaro, a 63-year-old former paratrooper vowing to crush crime in Latin America's biggest nation, received 46 percent of ballots - below the 50-percent-plus-one-vote threshold required for a first-round win, according to an official count of virtually all votes.

If the exit polls are confirmed, he will face Fernando Haddad from the left-wing Workers' Party in the second round on 28 October.

Two polls published late on Saturday showed Bolsonaro had increased his lead over Haddad in the past two days, taking 36 percent of voter intentions compared with Haddad's 22 percent. In Minas Gerais state, exit polls showed another Bolsonaro ally scoring an upset victory in the governor's race.

Senna said he was anxious that Bolsonaro's presidential rivals would gang up on him and back Haddad in the runoff.

Haddad, a former education minister and one-term mayor of Sao Paulo, had portrayed a vote for him as a show of support for Workers Party founder and former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, whom many voters associate with good economic times and falling inequality.

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Surveys suggest Bolsonaro currently has a very slight edge for that run-off but the outcome is too close to call as Haddad will likely now pick up substantial support from the other beaten candidates.

Better-off Brazilians have rallied to Bolsonaro's pledge to crush crime that includes more than 62,000 murders each year, almost as many rapes and frequent robberies.

Many voters also like his promises to tackle corruption and cut climbing public debt through privatizations, as well as the devout Catholic's family-first stance.

His once-tiny Social Liberal Party (PSL) was poised to become the second-largest force in Congress after legislative elections also held on Sunday, giving a boost to his agenda of slashing taxes and state involvement in the economy. Whoever ultimately wins will grapple with deep-rooted rejection and a large bloc of ideological hostility.

"I voted against thievery and corruption", said Mariana Prado, a 54-year-old human resources expert. "Today, there is recession, hunger, people living in the streets, unemployed", she said.

Temer - who took over after Lula's chosen successor Dilma Rousseff was impeached and ousted in 2016 for financial wrongdoing - was not standing for re-election.

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