After no contender could garner more than 50% of the vote, Brazil moves on to the next round of voting. As they prepared to cast their votes, millions of people lined up in front of polling places. This would be a pivotal point for the current president Jair Bolsonaro to win re-election successfully.
However, it was Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva who was favored by the odds.
When 99% of the votes were tallied last Sunday, da Silva, better known as Lula, had won about 48.4% of the votes.
With 43.2% of the vote, Bolsonaro ranked 2nd. Da Silva was only a few votes short of passing the finish line, so the second round of voting should be a tight contest.
Only a few points distanced the expert estimations from what really happened after the votes were counted.
However, Bolsonaro put on a better fight in the election, outperforming the forecast by 8 points, while da Silva was down by two or three points compared to estimates.
On October 30, the country will elect its chosen leaders once more. However, according to da Silva, he is enthusiastic that he can win out in the end in the election. Da Silva has the qualifications and support to win the seat because of his two victories in the election, in 2002 and 2010.
“It will be important (to have a second round) because we will have the chance to do a face-to-face debate with the current president to know if he will keep on telling lies,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bolsonaro made an appearance at a news conference and committed to address the dire economic conditions that the poor in Brazil are enduring. Furthermore, in an appeal to the populace, he promised to fight for Brazilians’ rights if granted the chance to remain in power.
“We have a second round ahead where everything becomes the same, the (television advertising) time for each side becomes the same. And now we are going to show it better for the Brazilian population, especially the most affected class, the consequence of the ‘stay at home; we’ll see the economy later’ policy,” said the Brazilian president.
Political polarization is divisive
The gap among citizens results from elections. Other presidential contenders feared the division that may impact the nation due to the vote polarization between the two main contenders.
Political division in Brazil is an issue for Ciro Gomes of the Democratic Labour Party.
“I have never seen a situation so complex, so challenging, so potentially threatening to our fortunes as a nation,” the contender said.
Da Silva, though, has a different perspective.
“We don’t want more discord; we want a country that lives in peace. This is the most important election. I am really happy,” he said.
“Four years ago, I couldn’t vote because I had been the victim of a lie in this country. And four years later, I’m here, voting with the recognition of my total freedom and with the possibility of being president of the republic of this country again, to try to make this country return to normality.”
Voters are eager to elect new president
Those who backed da Silva stated they were somewhat upset with the results and felt that da Silva should have won with a majority of the vote. Contrarily, da Silva guaranteed his fans that he would triumph once the runoff began in the latter part of October.
Which candidate receives the support of the third and fourth place competitors should greatly impact the standoff between Bolsonaro and da Silva. Ciro Gomes received 3%, and Simone Tibet received 4% of the votes.
Therefore, Brazil will elect a new leader if da Silva maintains his whole 48.2% vote margin plus a significant chunk of the Gomes and Tibet votes.
“We came here expecting to have a party, to get very happy, to have some beers. But now we are going home to just sleep and wait for the next four weeks to see how they go,” a supporter explained.
Photo Credit: AFP