Far-Right Brazillian populist wins first round in Presidental election
Jair Bolsonaro, who has called for his political opponents to be shot, and defended Brazil's 1964-85 military dictatorship, has convincingly won the first round with over 46 per cent of the vote.
The results mean that Bolsonaro will now face off against left-wing Workers’ party (PT) candidate, Fernando Haddad on October the 28th.
A former army captain, Bolsonaro and his 'Social Liberal party' campaigned heavily on abolishing gun control and "executing" suspected criminals, while warning that his opponents would turn Brazil into a "Communist state".
Meanwhile, Brazillian liberals are unlikely to be reassured by his election promise to “govern for everyone … even the atheists,” in light of his previous remarks to congress that: “Yes, I’m in favor of a dictatorship! We will never resolve grave national problems with this irresponsible democracy,”.
Haddad now faces an uphill battle to overcome Bolsonaro's 17 point lead, and would require almost all of the defeated candidates supporters to switch over to the PT. Haddad will also hope that the 10 million voters who spoiled their ballot in the first round can be convinced to back him in order to stop Bolsonaro taking the Presidency.
The election was mired in controversy before it began, after former President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, was banned from running by a Brazillian court over corruption charges that Lula and his supporters in the Workers party maintain are politically motivated.
Polling had consistently shown that Lula maintained a strong lead among voters over Bolsonaro.