Brazil’s Bolsonaro, Lula face off in last debate before vote
Lula pours on the charm for Brazilian voters in last debate before vote
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Photo courtesy of the office of the Brazilian Presidency
Lula, a leading leftist, took center stage for the last time during a debate on Tuesday night, facing off with a powerful businessman who once threatened to take over Brazil. But what was really on display came later in the evening, when Lula asked the audience to think about the way they voted in the last presidential runoff election in 2018, which Bolsonaro won by defeating Workers’ Party candidate, Fernando Haddad, by a margin of about 56,000 votes.
Brazil’s Workers’ Party has used this result as a point of strength for their candidate, Bolsonaro. The Workers’ Party, or PT, has said that Bolsonaro won the last election in a landslide when he got more than 80% of the popular vote and that he will improve Brazil’s economy. But Bolsonaro said he didn’t have a magic bullet.
“We can’t be afraid of a bad election,” Bolsonaro said to the audience, citing another campaign trail event that he said was a disaster for him because he lost the popular vote by the high of 80%. “I am going to win and I know that we will,” Bolsonaro said. In a moment of levity, Lula said that he would help Bolsonaro to improve Brazil’s economy, but only if he follows through on his campaign promise to privatize the Brazilian pension system.
Brazil’s first-ever candidate for the U.S. presidency, Lula has become a regular figure in late-night political talk shows. As this week’s debate highlighted, Lula has been a very popular figure for many Brazilian voters, but the former leader of the Brazilian Communist Party has never found mainstream success in his country. As a result, many Brazilians have come to see him as a hero for his anti-corruption, leftist beliefs.
During the debate, L