Jair Messias Bolsonaro, of the PSL, was elected president of the Brazilian Republic this Sunday by defeating in the second round the PT’s (Worker’s Party) candidate Fernando Haddad.
Bolsonaro reached 55,205,640 votes (55.54% of the valid votes) and could no longer be surpassed by Haddad, who at that moment amounted to 44,193,523 (44.46%).
Political scientist Carlos Eduardo Martins, a UFRJ professor, said that if Bolsonaro put into effect the promised government program during the campaign, the election of the PSL candidate will bring “expressive social confrontations” in Brazil.
“If the ultra-neoliberal hard-line version is really adopted by him, what is imagined is that they will have expressive social confrontations, it will be seen if the popular vote he had with a majority in Congress to put this kind of practice into the agenda,” he said.
Bolsonaro, at the first attempt of running for president, will succeed Michel Temer (MDB), Dilma Rousseff’s (PT) deputy who took office in 2016 after Lula’s impeachment.
Carlos Eduardo Martins highlighted the fact that Bolsonaro did not go to the debates of the second round despite even being authorized by medical teams. According to the political scientist, Bolsonaro adopted “a strategy of deliberate voiding the elections”.
“It was the first time in a second round election in Brazil that a candidate did not attend [a debate] and does not submit to a more detailed popular assessment. It put us in a situation where no one knows what Bolsonaro’s program is,” he said.
The electoral campaign began in August with 13 candidates for the Presidency of the Republic, the largest number of competitors since 1989 when there were 22 candidates.
Meanwhile, receiving for the first time in its history an international observation mission, Brazil was praised today by the head of the Organization of American States (OAS) initiative, Laura Chinchilla.
Speaking to reporters during a visit to the Integrated Command and Control Center of the National Secretariat of Public Security (Senasp), Laura, who is also a former president of Costa Rica, said she was “positively impressed” with the organization of the elections.
The OAS representative noted that in “much smaller” democracies than Brazil, “much higher numbers of incidents of electoral crime” are often reported than in the case on Sunday. Laura also highlighted the integration between the electoral authorities and congratulated the “maturity of the voters” who “understood that differences are resolved in an institutional manner and with voting.”
The invitation to observe the smoothness of the elections was made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Higher Electoral Court earlier this year. In the end, the OAS mission should release a comprehensive report outlining the strengths and recommendations for strengthening the elections in Brazil.