Brazil: Jair Bolsonaro will accept defeat if ‘nothing unusual happens’

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BrazilJair Bolsonaro will accept defeat if ‘nothing unusual happens’

Jair Bolsonaro, the surprise first-round winner of Brazil’s presidential election, has warmed to Lula in the polls ahead of the second round.

Polls still put Lula in the lead, 45% to Jair Bolsonaro’s 49%, 1% undecided and 4% blank or null votes, according to Datafolha.

AFP

Far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a candidate for re-election, said on Friday he would accept a possible defeat in the October 30 presidential run-off vote “if there is nothing unusual”.

“Everyone is saying today that I am more popular (among the people) than my opponent (former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva). But let’s leave the ballot boxes… We will leave this matter to the Electoral Transparency Commission,” Jair Bolsonaro said in a live interview on SBT, when he was asked if he would accept the decision if there was a backlash.

“If the transparency commission, in which the armed forces also participate, shows nothing unusual, there is no reason to doubt the election results,” said the former army captain, who raised the issue repeatedly and without evidence in the months leading up to the election. “Fraud” is possible with electronic ballot boxes used to vote in Brazil.

Lula rejects the debate

He went so far as to threaten not to recognize the results if he lost against Lula, the candidate of the Workers’ Party (PD, left). Lula has long been the favorite in polls, with a 21-point lead over Jair Bolsonaro in May, according to the Datafolha Institute.

But the outgoing president produced a surprise in the first round of the election, on October 2, with 43% of the vote, five points less than Lula, and a narrower gap than polls had predicted.

Midway through the campaign, Jair Bolsonaro muted his attacks on electronic voting and deferred them to polling agencies, which he accused of “lying” in favor of his main opponent. Polls still put Lula in the lead, 45% to Jair Bolsonaro’s 49%, 1% undecided and 4% blank or null votes, according to Datafolha.

This Friday’s interview with Jair Bolsonaro changed what was supposed to be the second debate between the two candidates in the second round, in which Lula decided not to participate due to “incompatibility with his campaign calendar,” organizers said.

(AFP)

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