Brazil: Electric debate for Lula and Bolsonaro 3 days before the presidential election

Brazil: Electric debate for Lula and Bolsonaro 3 days before the presidential election

Left-wing ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and far-right outgoing leader Jair Bolsonaro, favorites for Sunday’s presidential election in Brazil, exchanged hateful remarks during the last televised debate on Thursday night, calling each other “liars”. a “corrupt”.

The first minutes of this debate, which was watched by tens of millions of viewers on TV Globo for more than three hours, led to violent gun attacks three days before the most polarized elections in Brazil’s recent history.

Like Bolsonaro, Lula went off the rails and had to be called to order several times by the mediator.

Tension then eased somewhat, but few concrete suggestions were made by the seven candidates present (out of the 11 in the running) during a debate that commentators rated low.

From his first speech, Jair Bolsonaro, 67, accused Lula, 76, of being the leader of a gang of “thieves” when the left ruled the country from 2003 to 2016, while calling him a “liar” and a “traitor”. to the fatherland”.

A reference to the Petrobras corruption scandal, for which the former trade unionist was imprisoned for 18 months in 2018 and 2019 before the Supreme Court overturned his conviction.

“It’s ugly to see a President of the Republic lying all the time,” said Lula, who in turn accused him of corruption.

“How can you look at yourself in the mirror when we see what happened under your administration?”

“The people will send you home on October 2!” launched Lula, who is predicted a possible victory in the polls on Sunday.

– Neymar with Bolsonaro –

According to the latest opinion poll, released just before this third televised debate by the Datafolha Institute, the ex-union leader retains a comfortable advantage over Bolsonaro with 48% of voting intentions versus 34%.

Lula’s Workers’ Party (PT), with the support of star singers such as singer Anita, is campaigning for the Brazilians to have a “useful vote” to vote for the old lion of Brazilian politics in this first round.

But Jair Bolsonaro had strong support on Thursday: Brazilian soccer superstar Neymar, who openly expressed his preference in a video posted on TikTok.

When asked about his environmental policies, which environmentalists have criticized, the far-right president replied: “We haven’t heard anything about forest fires in the Amazon, apart from those that normally take place.”

But official data collected by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) via satellite showed that in less than nine months, Brazil recorded more fires in the world’s largest rainforest than in all of 2021.

– Fake News –

AFP’s fact-checking unit found several incorrect pieces of information during Thursday night’s debate. To defend himself against allegations of delays in buying vaccines against COVID-19 in Brazil, President Bolsonaro said that “no country in the world bought a vaccine in 2020”, while several countries had started to count their populations by the end of 2020 to immunize this year.

For his part, Lula asserted that he was “acquitted on 26 trials” but that his conviction for irregularities was overturned without a merits review.

In the two previous televised debates, President Bolsonaro had been heavily criticized after his sexist attacks on one of the journalists interviewing him.

After what commentators saw as a disappointing performance during the first debate – notably his failure to counter Jair Bolsonaro’s allegations of corruption – Lula did not attend the second debate, citing an already very busy schedule.

Election campaigning on radio and television ended at midnight this Thursday, but meetings and the distribution of leaflets will remain permitted until Saturday evening, the day before the election.


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