Jair Bolsonaro, known as the “Trump of Brazil,” has won the presidency in the runoff against former Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad with 55.1% of the vote.

The ex-army captain has portrayed himself as an outsider, even though he spent 27 years in Congress.

From Fox News:

Bolsonaro, who cast himself as a political outsider despite a 27-year career in Congress, is the latest of several leaders around the globe to gain prominence by mixing tough, often violent talk with right-wing positions. But he also is very much a product of a political tempest in Brazil that made his messages less marginalized: widespread anger at the political class amid years of corruption, an economy that has struggled to recover after a punishing recession and a surge in violence. The name of his party, PSL, translates to “Social Liberal Party,” although it largely abandoned its socially liberal platforms after he joined.

Bolstering his rebel image is his reputation for offensive statements and sometimes extreme views, including insulting women, black people and the LGBT community.

“I’m afraid to go out at night when it gets dark,” said Raquel Nunes, 27, a secretary from Sao Paulo and an avid Bolsonaro supporter, as The Wall Street Journal reported. “But he’s going to solve this, he’s going to be firm, talking didn’t get us anywhere so we need to respond with force.”

Bolsonaro took a softer tone after he won, telling the people of Brazil, “You are my witnesses that this government will be a defender of the constitution, democracy and liberty and this is not just the promise of a party, or the empty words of a man, but an oath to God.”

I wrote a few weeks ago that a Bolsonaro victory may not make much of a difference in Brazil because his party should win a few more than 50 seats in Brazil’s “lower house of congress, while Haddad’s PT is expected to win a few more seats than the SLP in the same body.”

Despite the offensive things he has said, Bolsonaro managed to bring in support, mostly due to the fact that Brazilians do not like the Workers’ Party after years of corruption. I mean, he ran against Haddad, “the stand-in candidate for former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was jailed this year for corruption.”

You would think the party would have pushed away from da Silva, but The Wall Street Journal reported that he “continued to call the shots for the Workers’ Party from his police cell in southern Brazil, holding frequent tête-à-têtes with Mr. Haddad, who registered as his lawyer to secure regular visitation rights.”

The Wall Street Journal continued:

Speaking after the result Sunday, Mr. Haddad said he would continue to guard over his supporters, who fear Mr. Bolsonaro will set back gay and women’s rights, bully political opponents and pose a threat to the country’s young democracy.

“I saw the anguish and fear on many people’s faces…but don’t be afraid, we will be here, we will be with you,” he said.

Sunday’s vote brings to an end one of the most turbulent election campaigns in Brazil’s recent history, which has sparked rancorous feuds between families and friends.


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