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Jair Bolsonaro wins Brazil’s election but needs second round

The far-right candidate got 46.93% of vote. He is a Roman Catholic who has also attracted the support of many evangelical Christians.

AUTHOR Evangelical Focus BRASILIA 09 OCTOBER 2018 11:05 h GMT+1
Jair Bolsonaro, Fernando Haddad and Ciro Gomes. / Eso Carneiro, Flickr CC

A far-right candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, has won the first round of Brazil's presidential election.

The leader of the Liberal Social Party (PSL), closed the poll with more than 49 million votes (46,93%), taking an advantage of 18 points to Fernando Haddad, who remained on 31 million ballots (29,3%). Cito Gomes got 12,5% of the votes.

Bolsonaro, who criticized, just after knowing the results, flaws in the electoral system, will face the left-wing Workers' Party candidate, Haddad, in the second round on 28 October.



Jair Bolsonaro is a Roman Catholic, but he has also attracted the support of millions of evangelical Christians by saying he will defend traditional family values.

Several prominent Brazilian footballers have endorsed his candidacy including World Cup winner Ronaldinho, Palmeiras midfielder Felipe Melo and Tottenham Hotspur winger Lucas Moura.

In his victory speech, broadcast live on Facebook and uploaded on to Twitter, he said Brazilians could take the path of “prosperity, liberty, family, on God's side, or the path of Venezuela”.



Meanwhile Haddad, after reaching the second round, pointed out that he and the Workers' Party would “only use arguments, we don't use any guns”.

Referring to Mr Bolsonaro's lead, he said he felt “challenged by the results, which alert us to the risks Brazilian democracy is facing”.

“We need to approach this with a sense of responsibility, We want to unite the democrats of this country, to reduce inequality and to achieve social justice”, he told his cheering supporters.



The participation of the evangelical candidates in these elections has been very poor. Cabo Daciolo, of the Patriota party, is the one that obtained the best result, reaching the sixth place, with 1.3 million votes, 1.2% of the vote.

It has been worse for Marina Silva, who got a million votes, or 1% of the ballots. The evangelical candidate has already confirmed that she will support Haddad in the second round.



The advantage of Bolsonaro over Haddad seems clear, however, some candidates who have not passed the first round have not positioned themselves yet.

In addition to Marina Silva, the leader of the Democratic Labor Party (PDT in Portuguese), Ciro Gomes, who has obtained the third best result with 12% of the votes, has said he will not support Bolsonaro in the second round.

Socialism and Freedom Party (PSOL in Portuguese) leader, Guilherme Boulos, with 0.6% of the vote, supports Haddad too .

One of the challenges that the candidates will have to face in the second round, apart from the votes, is the abstention, which has registered the highest figure since 2002, 20.3%.




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