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Between Lula and Bolsonaro, a final debate full of slander before the second round of the presidential election

Between Lula and Bolsonaro, a final debate full of slander before the second round of the presidential election
The tone rose during the latest television debate between Lula and Jair Bolsonaro, Friday, October 28, two days before the second round of the Brazilian presidential election. For more than two hours on TV Globo, the country’s most-watched channel, the two candidates have consistently accused each other of lying, at the cost of revealing concrete projects from a four-year mandate at stake in Sunday’s poll.

“This man is the biggest liar in the history of Brazil,” former leftist president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, 77, said in the first minutes of the debate, broadcast by TV Globo.

“Will we have to fire him to stop him from lying? The far-right head of state responded. “He thinks he’s the ‘little father of the poor’,” added Bolsonaro, 67, before calling Lula a ‘thief’.

“I am not here to respond to [the provocations] of my opponent, I have come to speak to the Brazilian people,” said the icon of the left, describing the far-right president as “unbalanced.”

“Do you take Viagra?” Bolsonaro asked in particular to Lula, who asked him to provide information on the controversial purchase of 35,000 pills of this drug for the military.

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This discussion took place on the inside of an often sloppy campaign, filled with dirty tricks and massive misinformation on social media.

Read also: Brazil’s presidential election: ‘A very large portion of voters satisfied with Jair Bolsonaro’s mandate’
Lula boosted his lead slightly in the latest Datafolha benchmark poll, published Thursday, in which 53% of voting intentions were expressed, compared to 47% for the far-right president. A six point gap which was only four points last week.

Discussing international politics
With this advantage, and if the polls are correct, “Lula can be content with playing a draw, while Bolsonaro should win by several goals” During the debate on Friday, October 28, political columnist Jozias de Sousa at UOL news site estimated that Brazilians love a footballing metaphor. .

Read also: An article dedicated to our subscribers in Brazil, the worries of the Lula camp, for whom the presidential election campaign has turned into a means to bypass.

“The only thing that could turn the tide is a televised debate, which 55% of voters say is an important decision-making moment. The slightest slip could be decisive for the bottom line,” Philip Nunes, a professor of political science and director of the Quaest Institute for Polling, told AFP. “.

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During the only other confrontation between Lula and Bolsonaro, on October 16, on the Bandeirantes channel, the exchanges were less aggressive than before. During the debates leading up to the first round, which brought together other candidates, hateful statements erupted from both sides.

Read also: Article dedicated to our subscribers in Brazil, between Jair Bolsonaro and Lula, the first theatrical debate without a clear winner
This time, after the verbal bout, the Friday evening duel was also physical. Each candidate tried to occupy the best territory in the studio, which turned into an arena of ruthless fighting.

“Stay here, Lola!” said the outgoing president, as his opponent turned his back on him. “No, I don’t want to stay near you!” The former metal worker, who often came too close to the cameras to address viewers face to face, answered.

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The debate was repeatedly interrupted by shouts from campaign teams trying to destabilize the candidates.

Lula attacked his opponent over his international politics, a topic hardly discussed in previous television debates. Under your government, Brazil has become a pariah. No one wants to receive you and no one comes here. The former head of state (2003-2010) noted that French President Emmanuel Macron received him with honors at the Elysee Palace in November 2021.

“It was anti-controversial, without the slightest novelty that could change the game,” Globonews’ political columnist Otavio Geddes said after the debate.

Hiccup at Bolsonaro’s camp
In the first round, on October 2, Lula rose to the top with 48% of the vote, compared to 43% for Jair Bolsonaro. But the far-right president’s tally turned out to be much higher than polls had predicted, giving him some impetus for the mid-round campaign.

However, this momentum has been slowed by two main obstacles: unwelcome statements by the Economy Minister, Paolo Guedes, explaining that the increase in the minimum wage can no longer be linked to inflation, and the startling questioning of a former Bolsonare deputy. Police officers were wounded by grenades.

Feeling cornered, President Bolsonaro found his criticism of the electronic ballot box system a new hobby this week: denouncing alleged irregularities in broadcasting election propaganda on the radio.

The Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) rejected the request of the head of state’s campaign team, arguing that no evidence was presented that could constitute an “electoral crime” and an attempt to “destabilize the second round”.

According to experts, Mr. Bolsonaro is paving the way for the outcome to be challenged in the event of defeat, fueling fears of violent events, such as the invasion of the Capitol building in Washington after the defeat of Donald Trump in the US presidential election, in January 2021.

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