Lula leads polls as Brazil votes in tense presidential contest By Reuters


© Reuters. Former Brazil’s President and present presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva speaks throughout a information convention in Sao Paulo, Brazil, October 1, 2022. REUTERS/Carla Carniel 


By Anthony Boadle

BRASILIA (Reuters) -Brazilians forged their votes on Sunday within the first spherical of their nation’s most polarized election in a long time, with leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva anticipated to beat right-wing incumbent Jair Bolsonaro.

Most polls have proven Lula with a stable lead for months, however Bolsonaro has signaled he could refuse to just accept defeat, stoking fears of institutional disaster or post-election violence. A message projected on Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue forward of the vote learn: “Peace within the Elections.”

Most opinion surveys favor Lula, who was president from 2003 to 2010, by 10-15 proportion factors. If he wins greater than 50% of legitimate votes, which a number of pollsters present inside attain, that may clinch an outright victory, foregoing a second-round vote.

Decked out in Lula stickers, Adriana Schneider was voting at a major college in Rio de Janeiro. The college professor, 48, mentioned Bolsonaro’s administration had been “catastrophic” for funding in tradition, arts, science and schooling.

“We’re dwelling beneath a barbaric authorities,” she mentioned.

Lula was jailed over the past election, serving a conviction for graft that was later overturned by the Supreme Court docket, permitting him to face off in opposition to his fierce rival Bolsonaro on this 12 months’s vote.

Voting in São Bernardo do Campo, Lula acknowledged the dramatic turnaround in his fortunes after a conviction that he says was politically motivated.

“It is an essential day for me,” he mentioned. “4 years in the past I could not vote as a result of I used to be the sufferer of a lie … I wish to attempt to assist my nation to return to regular.”

Bolsonaro voted in Rio, and mentioned he anticipated to win the election in Sunday’s first spherical, regardless of his poor exhibiting in polls. The previous military captain doesn’t belief the pollsters, saying their outcomes don’t correspond with the assist he sees at his marketing campaign occasions.

“If we’ve clear elections, we’ll win as we speak with no less than 60% of the votes,” Bolsonaro mentioned in a video posted on his social media earlier than voting. “All of the proof we’ve is favorable to us. The opposite facet has not been capable of take to the streets, has not campaigned, has no acceptance, no credibility.”

A winner could possibly be introduced inside hours after polling stations shut at 5 p.m. Brasilia time (2000 GMT). If no candidate wins greater than half of the votes, excluding clean and spoiled ballots, the highest two finishers go to an Oct. 30 run-off, prolonging the tense marketing campaign season.

Bolsonaro has threatened to contest the results of the vote, after making baseless allegations of fraud, accusing electoral authorities of plotting in opposition to him and suggesting the navy ought to conduct a parallel tally, which they declined to do.


A decisive victory by Lula on Sunday may scale back the chances of a tumultuous transition. Critics of Bolsonaro say one other month of his assaults on the democratic course of may spur social unrest just like the 2021 assault on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.

Bolsonaro says he’ll respect the election consequence if voting is “clear and clear,” with out defining any standards.

Brazilians are additionally voting on Sunday for all 513 members of the decrease chamber of Congress, a 3rd of the 81 members of the Senate and state governors and legislatures.

Although Lula leads the presidential race, the conservative coalition backing Bolsonaro is anticipated to carry a majority in each chambers of Congress. That might current challenges for the leftist to control a rustic with rising starvation, excessive unemployment and an uneven restoration from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lula and Bolsonaro have each promised extra beneficiant welfare spending subsequent 12 months, including to strain on the federal finances and main each to have a look at alternate options to present spending guidelines.

The newly established autonomy of Brazil’s central financial institution and Lula’s alternative of a centrist former rival as working mate have reassured some buyers that he wouldn’t set off a disruptive break in financial coverage.

Lula has vowed to make a pointy departure from Bolsonaro’s environmental insurance policies after deforestation within the Amazon (NASDAQ:) rainforest hit a 15-year excessive. Lula has pledged to fight logging, step up safety of the biome and native tribes, and make Brazil a protagonist in local weather diplomacy.

As in previous elections, Brazil’s navy has been mobilized to intensify safety at some 477,000 polling stations, utilizing digital voting machines that permit for swift tabulation of outcomes by the nationwide electoral authority (TSE).

Following Bolsonaro’s criticisms of Brazil’s voting programs, the TSE invited a document variety of overseas election observers, together with first-time missions from U.S. observers on the Carter Heart and the Worldwide Basis for Electoral Programs (IFES).

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