Guns, God and fake news dominate Brazil’s presidential race
With the winner of Sunday’s presidential election less than three weeks away, Brazil is struggling to find a government it can trust, with a rapidly changing electorate, an economy in tatters and a culture in flux.
In the race to be Brazil’s next president, Jose Serra is leading with 48 percent of the vote and the former governor of Rio de Janeiro – where a recent spate of gun-related crimes has reignited the country’s gun violence – leading the pack on 27 percent.
The left-wing Workers’ Party, meanwhile, has fallen from 26 percent in September to 17 percent.
Meanwhile, former São Paulo mayor Marina Silva, who is challenging Jose Serra for her Workers’ Party nomination as the party’s presidential candidate, is leading 15 percent.
Marina Silva’s father, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, was impeached for corruption in 2014, but he was elected on the Worker’s Party ticket to replace him in 2018.
The left-wing PT, meanwhile, has been battered by corruption scandals and the murder of two top executives in the company where it was founded. The party’s popularity has sunk to its lowest ever following the scandals.
In a bid to boost its support, the left-wing Social Democrats are now attacking both left-wing candidates in Sunday’s election.
Party leader Antonio Carlos Jobim told Globo TV that “it is necessary that the PSDB (Social Democracy’s) presidential candidate, Marcelo Freixo, not be in the race”.
“Lula is fighting for his life,” he said, referring to the Workers’ Party candidate with a gun-related conviction.
In São Paulo, the PT had led in the mayoral race but lost the race for the governorship of the wealthy western city of Paraiba.
“The election shows that the right wing has no more votes,” PT leader Jose Serra said after taking his victory in São Paulo’s second-largest city by a wide margin.
“If we want to govern Brazil we need a new dynamic. We need a different government of the