In Brazil, the presidential election against a backdrop of poverty
Jean-Claude Gerez (in Salvador de Bahia), edited by Laura Laplaud
10:02 am 02 October 2022
As Brazilian voters head to the polls this Sunday to elect their new president, 33 million of them are starving and 125 million are food insecure. An unacceptable situation for Lula, the former left-wing president, presidential candidate against outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro, who promises three meals a day for everyone.
It is a choice against a background of poverty. 156 million Brazilian voters are called to the polls this Sunday for the first round of the presidential elections. A high-tension vote in which former left-wing President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva could be elected on the first ballot and outgoing far-right President Jair Bolsonaro could reject the polls’ result. Almost four years after taking office, the outgoing president is leaving a country in great pain: 33 million Brazilians are starving and 125 million are at risk of food insecurity.
Maximum tension between two sworn enemies
In Salvador de Bahia, on Saturday afternoon, on the site of the only favela power plant, the women hope to be given a basket with the essentials or a bottle of gas for cooking. Among them Zilma, 40 years old. “It was difficult before the pandemic, but after that it was even worse,” she says.
“I was able to eat thanks to my family and the basket of essentials we get here, but it was sometimes difficult going without gas, cooking with alcohol, or choosing between lunch and dinner.”
In Salvador, 240,000 families live below the poverty line
For Marcio Lima, from the favelas’ only power plant, the situation continues to deteriorate. “Someone who earns minimum wage in Brazil cannot even buy a basket of basic products. And those who don’t work live below the poverty line. In Salvador, there are 240,000 families,” he laments.
Jair Bolsonaro recently approved an €8 billion aid plan for the most humble. Not enough to convince Claudia, 47, to vote for him. “If I have to vote today, it’s for Lula because he has done a lot for poor people,” she said at the Europa 1 microphone.
Lula, the favorite in recent polls, promises to feed the populace. A picture of a Redeemer and the expectations He must have if elected.
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