Conservative candidate Jair Bolsonaro was the leading vote getter in the first round of voting to elect Brazil’s next president, and is expected to win the October 28 runoff.
Bolsonaro’s main attraction to voters is that he has managed to avoid being implicated in any of the political scandals that have engulfed the country’s political elite in recent years.
Voters are clearly fed up with corruption and crime, and are looking to Bolsonaro to get both under control. Like most populists elected in the last 2 years, he is viewed as the anti-establishment candidate who will overturn the established order. Voters may be getting more than they bargained for.
His plan to get crime under control includes the loosening of gun laws for self-defense and giving police “carte blanche” to kill suspected criminals. Due process? What do you expect from an ex-army officer was staunchly defends Brazil’s past dictatorship.
But there’s more. Balsonaro has defended torture, advocated beating children to stop them from turning gay, argued that women deserve lower pay than men, and said minorities must “bow to the majority or simply disappear.”
Finally, in a country that has endured a massive recession, Bolsonaro proudly states he knows nothing about economics. God help the world’s fourth largest democracy.