Brazil presidential election is heading for a run-off vote after neither party managed to win a majority

BRAZIL PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION – It appears Brazil is heading to a run-off vote, with current President Jair Bolsonaro and rival Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva set to battle it out for the top job.

With 95% of electronic votes counted, Lula was ahead with 47.6 per cent of votes versus 43.9 per cent for Bolsonaro. This means neither party was able to gain the majority required to take office.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is a Brazilian politician who served as the President of Brazil from 2003 to 2011.

Several opinion surveys had Lula leading Bolsonaro by 10-15 percentage points ahead of Sunday’s vote. Bolsonaro’s strong showing came as a surprise to many.

The key issues in the election are corruption, crime and the economy. Bolsonaro has been a vocal critic of Lula and his Workers’ Party, which has been dogged by corruption scandals.

Bolsonaro’s reputation is mixed. He is a career lawmaker who rode a backlash against the Workers’ Party to victory in 2018.

He has dismantled environmental and indigenous protections to the delight of commercial farmers and wildcat miners, while pushing an anti-gay and anti-abortion agenda.

His popularity has suffered since the coronavirus pandemic, which he dismissed as a “little flu.” Corruption scandals also forced ministers out of his government.

Lula promises to improve the fortunes of Brazil’s poor and working classes, as he did as from 2003-2010, when he lifted millions out of poverty.

Lula spent 19 months in jail for bribery convictions that were later overturned. He has remained a powerful force in Brazilian politics from prison.

The second-round vote will take place on October 30th. It is likely to be a close contest, with both candidates having strong support bases.

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