Brazil enters new era with far-right president-elect

Baltic news News from Latvia

"Bolsonaro rejects the policies and corruption of the past that brought Brazil to its current state", wrote Roger Noriega, the top USA diplomat for Latin America and US envoy to the Organization of American States under President George W. Bush. He's now been announced as the president-elect.

As only two candidates remain and those figures discard voters who say they will annul their votes, that in practice means Haddad needs to win 5 percentage points to overtake the right-winger.

With 94 percent of the ballots counted, Bolsonaro had 56 percent of the votes in the run-off election against left-wing hopeful Fernando Haddad of the Workers Party (PT), who had 44 percent, according to the electoral authority TSE.

Right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro has been elected President of Brazil.

On Sunday, he voted at a military academy in Rio de Janeiro, ducking in through a side door to avoid the waiting crowd.

"This thing is going to turn around", Haddad, 55, buoyantly told thousands of supporters at his final campaign rally on Saturday.

Last month, Bolsonaro was stabbed by a protester in the middle of a crowd while campaigning and spent several weeks recovering from the life-threatening wound.

"God willing, tomorrow will be our new independence day", he tweeted.

A supporter of Brazil's new president-elect, Jair Bolsonaro, celebrates in front of Bolsonaro's condominium at Barra da Tijuca neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Dubbed the "Donald Trump of Brazil", Bolsonaro has been a harsh critic of China and lashed out at Beijing many times during the election campaign for its predatory investments in the key industries of Brazil. He has a history of disparaging remarks against LGBT people, women and minorities and has spoken of his support for torture and extrajudicial police killings.

There were also reports of clashes between his backers and opponents in Sao Paulo.




"We are going to think in terms of more Brazil and less Brasilia", he said referring to the nation's capital.

"We can not continue flirting with socialism, communism, populism and leftist extremism".

The former army captain, who has vowed to govern "for the majority, not the minority", has incensed a long list of Brazilians with his demeaning comments. His propensity for shocking, offensive, and violent comments is no secret: After being accused of making comments that encouraged rape in 2014, Bolsonaro retaliated by claiming another congresswoman was "not worth raping; she is very ugly".

But an even larger portion of voters rejected Haddad and the tarnished legacy of the Workers' Party, which had won the past four presidential elections.

Bolsonaro has pledged to privatise an array of state enterprises, including units of oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) and power utility Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA (Eletrobras). Until then, the iconic Workers' Party founder had been the clear leader in the polls.

Brazilians on Sunday elected as their 38th president Jair Bolsonaro, the conservative firebrand whose anti-establishment message resonated with an electorate worn out by years of scandal. Many of those who staunchly oppose Bolsonaro's ascent to the highest office point to an array of controversial statements he made through the years and which he never recanted.

His opponent Haddad did better in the Palestinian city of Ramallah, and in Havana, Berlin, Frankfurt, Paris and Moscow.

The election looks set to be decided as much by Brazilians voting against something as for it.

"I don't really like either candidate", Elias Chaim, 23, an engineering student and music producer, told AFP at a polling station facing Rio's Copacabana beach.

"It used to be people would actually vote for what they wanted, and not just against something", he said. The candidate himself was stabbed and nearly died while campaigning in early September, and there were numerous reports of politically motivated violence, especially directed at gay people. While he is loved by many, he is also widely loathed because of "Car Wash" and a recession under his successor, President Dilma Rousseff, who was removed from office in 2016 for illegally managing the federal budget.

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