Brazil election: leftwinger Fernando Haddad narrows lead in polls ahead of runoff
Brazil Brazil election: leftwinger Fernando Haddad narrows lead in polls ahead of runoff
But the Workers party candidate suffers blow after he fails to win the backing of key state governor ousted in first-round voting
Brazilâs leftist presidential candidate Fernando Haddad has narrowed the lead of his rightwing rival Jair Bolsonaro ahead of Sundayâs election runoff, according to two polls published on the eve of the election.
Haddad narrowed Bolsonaroâs lead to eight percentage points in an Ibope poll released late on Saturday, a survey that gave him 46% compared with Bolsonaroâs 54%.Bolsonaro threatens the world, not just Brazilâs fledgling democracy | Noam Chomsky and 14 others Read more
As only two candidates remain and those figures discard voters who say they will annul their votes, that in practice means Haddad needs to win five percentage points to overtake the rightwing former army officer.
In a Datafolha poll also released late on Saturday, Bolsonaro had 55% of voter backing, compared with 45% for Haddad.
However, Haddadâs prospects of overhauling Bolsonaro were dented when he failed to win the crucial endorsement of former center-left candidate Ciro Gomes on Saturday.
Gomes, a former governor of the north-east CearÃ¡ state, is influential in Brazilâs poorest region. His endorsement could have given Haddadâs Workers party (PT) a big lift in the S outh American countryâs most polarised election in a generation.Brazilâs fearful LGBT community prepares for a âproud homophobeâ Read more
Gomes finished third in the first-round vote on 7 October with 12% of the vote, behind Bolsonaroâs 46% and Haddadâs 29%. Gomes had hoped to be the standard bearer of the left but was outmaneuvered by the Workers party jailed former leader, Luiz InÃ¡cio Lula da Silva, who anointed Haddad as his stand-in.
There was consolation for Haddad when Rodrigo Janot, Brazilâs influential former prosecutor general under whose watch the countryâs unprecedented investigations and prosecutions of endemic political graft took place, tweeted late on Saturday that he would vote for Haddad. That was a blow to Bolsonaroâs work positioning himself as the only anti-corruption candidate.
âI think we are at the brink of a process that could push our democracy beyond its limits,â Janot told Reuters late Saturday. âFreedom, equality and fraternity â" always and at any cost.â
Haddad also won the backing of Brazilâs most popular YouTube host, Felipe Neto, who has 27.7 million followers on his channel. A popular anti-corruption judge, Joaquim Barbosa, who jailed several top PT leaders for corruption, also came out for Haddad.
Bolsonaro, a former army captain, is poised to become Brazilâs first far-right president since the end of the 1964-1985 military dictatorship. The 63-year-old seven-term congressman has promised to crack down on crime and corruption, pitching himself as the anti-establishment candidate for voters fed up with political graft and violent crime.
Bolsonaroâs sudden rise comes as Brazil finds itself in its worst recession and embroiled in its biggest corruption scandal after the leftist PT ran the government for 13 of the last 15 years.
Until his presidential run, Bolsonaro was best known for defending the former military regime and its use of torture. He has faced charges for misogynist, racist and homophobic rants. The supreme court rejected the racism charge, but has not ruled on a charge of inciting to rape in a case in which he told a fellow lawmaker she was not pretty enough to rape. He called the case political persecution.
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