Brazil's far-right frontrunner Bolsonaro vows to rule with 'authority not authoritarianism'
Brazil Brazil's far-right frontrunner Bolsonaro vows to rule with 'authority not authoritarianism'
After his first-round victory, Jair Bolsonaro tries to allay fears that Brazil could lurch back towards dictatorship under his command
Brazil needs to be ruled âwith authority but without authoritarianismâ, the far-right frontrunner to become its next president has declared in an apparent attempt to allay fears of the tyrannical tack many fear Latin Americaâs largest democracy could take under his command.
In his first television interview since his emphatic first-round victory on Sunday, Jair Bolsonaro, 63, vowed to âpacify and unite the Brazilian people under the green and yellow flagâ.
As president, his priorities would be opening Brazil to the world and hitting crime hard âso Brazilian women feel protectedâ.
âThis is how we intend to govern â¦ and build the future of our marvellous country,â the former army captain told Brazilâs Globo network.
During his 27 years in politics, Bolsonaro has repeatedly praised Brazilâs 1964-1985 military regime, and dictators such as Chileâs Augusto Pinochet and Peruâs Alberto Fujimori. His vice-presidential candidate, Hamilton MourÃ£o, is a retired general who last year hinted Brazilâs military leaders had pondered overthrowing the government.
Bolsonaroâs apparent affinity for authoritarians has fuelled fears Brazil could lurch back towards dictatorship under his leadership â" something he denied on Monday.
âIf we are competing in elections itâs because we believe in the popular vote and will be slaves to our constitution,â Bolsonaro insisted, adding: âWhat we need is a government with authority but without authoritarianism.â
Interviewed on the same program, Bolsonaroâs second-round rival, the Workersâ party (PT) candidate, Fernando Haddad, positioned himself as a social democrat who wanted development for the many, not the few.
Alluding to concerns over Bo lsonaroâs fondness for dictatorship, the leftist warned: âThe future of the country is at stake. The future of democracy is at stake. The future of your social rights and workersâ rights is at stake.â
But Haddad â" whose election manifesto called for the creation of a constituent assembly â" also faced questions over the PTâs own commitment to democracy after a former PT heavyweight proclaimed it was only a matter of time before the party âtook power, which is different to winning an electionâ. âFor me, democracy always comes first,â Haddad replied.Bolsonaro allies ride conservative wave in Brazil elections Read more
Bolsonaro and Haddad will face off on 28 October in a winner-takes-all showdown with first-round results suggesting the PT candidate has a mountain to climb.
Bolsonaro secured more than 49m votes, topping polls in 16 of Brazilâs 26 states as well as the federal district where the capital BrasÃlia is located.
His most convincing victory was in the southern state of Santa Catarina where 65.82% of voters backed him. But Bolsonaro also triumphed in the key south-eastern states of Rio de Janeiro (59.79%), Minas Gerais (48.31%) and SÃ£o Paulo (53%) â" Brazilâs three biggest electoral prizes with a combined total of 60 million voters.
Bolsonaro â" who has pledged to scrap Brazilâs environment ministry, open indigenous reserves to mining and ditch the Paris climate accord â" also prevailed in the Amazon states of Roraima, Acre and RondÃ´nia, with more than 62%, and in Mato Grosso, with 60%.
During a visit to the Amazon region in April, Bolsonaro praised Donald Trumpâs approval of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL oil pipelines (âNo messing around with the environment or the indigenous. Problem sorted!â) and told the Guardian he would take similar steps and target environmental groups operating in Brazil.
âThis cowardly business of international NGOs like WWF and so many others from England sticking their noses into Brazil is going to end! This tomfoolery stops right here!â Bolsonaro said. âWeâre in Brazil here: Great Brazil just like the Great America of our dear Trump.â
Haddad, who received 31m votes, dominated Brazilâs less developed north-east with more than 60% of votes in the states of MaranhÃ£o, Bahia and PiauÃ.Topics
- Jair Bolsonaro
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