Bolsonaro elected Brazil president
Gb news24 desk//
Former army captain Jair Bolsonaro was elected president of Brazil on Sunday, promising a fundamental change in direction for the giant Latin American country, the latest to take a turn to the far-right.
Despite repulsing many with his open support of the torture used by Brazil’s former military regime, as well as remarks deemed misogynist, racist and homophobic, Bolsonaro managed to tap voters’ deep anger with corruption, crime and economic malaise, reports AFP.
Official results gave the controversial president-elect 55.13 percent of the vote in the run-off election, to 44.87 for leftist opponent Fernando Haddad, with 99.99 percent of the ballots counted.
Bolsonaro, 63, will take office on January 1.
“We will change Brazil’s destiny together,” he said in his victory speech — broadcast live from his home on Facebook, the platform he has used to campaign since an attacker stabbed him in the stomach at a rally on September 6.
Sitting next to his wife and wearing a dark blazer, the longtime congressman delivered his speech in a stern voice.
He pledged to govern “following the Bible and the constitution,” and said: “We cannot continue flirting with socialism, communism, populism and the extremism of the left.”
But he promised to defend “the constitution, democracy and freedom,” fending off opponents’ warnings he would try to veer toward authoritarianism after openly expressing his admiration for Brazil’s brutal military dictatorship (1964-1985).
Thousands of supporters flooded the streets outside his home in Rio de Janeiro, waving Brazilian flags and lighting up the sky with fireworks.
“All these people here are outraged, upset about corruption and crime, and we are with Bolsonaro. The people have spoken. For the first time I feel represented,” said Andre Luiz Lobo, 38, a businessman who — not incidentally, given the accusations of racism against his candidate — is black.
The White House said US President Donald Trump had called Bolsonaro to congratulate him.
“Both expressed a strong commitment to work side-by-side to improve the lives of the people of the United States and Brazil, and as regional leaders, of the Americas,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.
Dubbed the “Tropical Trump” by some, Bolsonaro publicly admires the American leader.