Brazilians Prepare to Vote in High-Stakes Election Marked by Political Violence

    Brazilians Prepare to Vote in High-Stakes Election Marked by Political Violence
    On Sunday, Brazilians will vote (NYT) in an election seen as a crossroads for the country’s climate policy and democratic institutions. The incumbent, far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, is trailing leftist former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in polls. Bolsonaro’s false claims that Brazil’s voting machines have a history of fraud have prompted fears that he will not accept a loss.

    Under Bolsonaro, deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest reached a thirteen-year high (New Scientist) in 2021, while Lula da Silva oversaw a historic reduction in forest loss. The presidential race has involved at least three murders (WaPo) linked to political disagreements. If no candidate receives an outright majority of votes on Sunday, a runoff will occur on October 30.


    “In the extremely polarized environment that exists in Brazil today, even small incidents may lead to significant instability. A sophisticated deepfake video about supposedly malfunctioning voting machines, a delay in the announcement of the results, or an instance of violence on the day of the election could all interfere in the democratic process,” the Getulio Vargas Foundation’s Oliver Stuenkel writes for Foreign Affairs.

    “[Lula da Silva has] benefited from a matchup with a deeply unpopular incumbent. Polls show that about half of Brazilians say they would never support Mr. Bolsonaro, who has upset many voters with a torrent of false statements, destructive environmental policies, an embrace of unproven drugs over Covid-19 vaccines and harsh attacks against political rivals, journalists, judges and health professionals,” the New York Times’ Jack Nicas and journalist Flávia Milhorance write.

    This Backgrounder examines how Brazilian foreign policy fared under Bolsonaro and Lula da Silva.


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    Evarist Chahali

    Evarist Chahali

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