Brazil’s Bolsonaro, Lula face off in the first race debate | Election News

The rules of free debate allow candidates to roam the stage as they exchange personal taunts and insults.

Incumbent far-right Jair Bolsonaro and leftist rival Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva exchanged and insulted as they sparred in the first head-to-head debate of the second and final rounds of Brazil’s presidential election.

Lula attacked Bolsonaro as a “small dictator” and “king of fake news”, while Bolsonaro accused Lula of lying, corruption and a “disgraceful” record during a televised debate. last two hours on Sunday night.

Voters go to the polls on October 30 to choose who will become Brazil’s next president with 76-year-old Lula, the charismatic but tarnished former president, holding the lead over Bolsonaro.

Lula criticizes Bolsonaro about handling the COVID-19 pandemicattacked his resistance to vaccines and used unproven drugs like hydroxychloroquine.

“Your negligence resulted in 680,000 deaths, while more than half could have been saved,” the former metalworker told the president.

Bolsonaro then attacked and targeted Lula for corruption scandal during the 14 years his Workers’ Party ruled Brazil. Dozens of business leaders and politicians, including Lula, were arrested in a sweeping corruption crackdown, and Lula spent some time in jail for bribery that was later dismissed by the Supreme Court. Brazil flipped.

“Your past is shameful… You have done nothing for Brazil but put public money in your pockets and that of your friends,” the 67-year-old former army captain told Lula.

Men and women sitting on stools at a bar watching a TV debate between Lula and Bolsonaro
Customers at a bar in Brasilia watch the debate on the big screen. Lula is leading in the tough race [Adriano Machado/Reuters]

‘Bite nails’

Lula won 48 percent of the vote in the first round of the election, with Bolsonaro winning 43 percent, far more than opinion polls had suggested.

His unexpectedly strong performance sets the stage for a tough race with both candidates ramping up their rhetoric and launching bruised personal attacks in TV commercials.

“This is a difficult election,” said Al Jazeera’s Brazilian correspondent Monica Yanakiew. “Both candidates fought for every vote even though Lula was still the favorite.”

The free-debate rules allow candidates to roam the stage and approach the camera, both of which do often though they rarely look at each other, except for a tense silence that Bolsonaro ended up with. finally interrupted by placing a hand on Lula’s shoulder. a smile.

As has been the case for much of the campaign, more time is spent on personal attacks than on substantive discussion.

Political scientist Christopher Mendonca told AFP news agency: “Policy proposals have lost their central role and accusations have taken place.

Bolsonaro’s campaign is counting on Sunday’s debate to help close the gap with Lula, who still leads by about 5 percentage points, based on surveys by pollster Datafolha.

Neither candidate detailed during the debate how they would raise money to expand a more generous welfare program, which both have promised to do without violating the terms of the law. federal budget rules.


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