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Bolsonaro launches campaign with attacks on electoral system, main competitor

#Bolsonaro #launches #campaign #attacks #electoral #system #main #competitor

Brazilian Jair Bolsonaro officially launched his presidential re-election campaign on Sunday, attacking the electoral system, the judiciary and his biggest challenger in a bellicose speech in Rio de Janeiro.

In a more than hour-long address at a sports arena, the far-right leader vowed he would keep a temporary welfare stipend if re-elected and warned he would “not allow cheating” in October’s vote – a criticism of the electoral system he reiterates claimed without evidence was defective.

Earlier this week, the US embassy in Brazil said the country’s electoral system is a “model for the world” after Bolsonaro warned in an address to ambassadors that the system’s “flaws” inspire “suspicion”.

Such attacks in recent months have led analysts to fear that Bolsonaro – dubbed “Tropical Trump” – could refuse to accept defeat like his former American counterpart, whose supporters stormed the US Capitol after he lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden.

Bolsonaro’s repeated questioning of the electoral system has prompted the Supreme Court to open an investigation against him.

On Sunday, the president urged his supporters to take to the streets on September — the one-year anniversary of the Independence Day protests, which were marked by attacks on democratic institutions Bolsonaro had promoted.

– ‘Voice of the People’ –

“The few deaf and black-clad must understand the voice of the people,” he said, referring to the Supreme Court. They “must understand that the executive and legislature make the rules.”

His supporters replied: “The people come first!”

They waved banners with slogans like “God, homeland and family”. One showed a picture of Trump.

Bolsonaro changed the subject to his main rival and polls leader – left-wing former President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva – saying he prays “that Brazil will never experience the pains of communism.”

“We have to get the young left on our side, show them the truth,” he said.

“Where your candidate has supported others in South America, look at the misery in those countries,” Bolsonaro said, referring to Venezuela, among other things.

The crowd replied, “Lula, thief, your place is in prison!”

Bolsonaro appeared on stage with his wife Michelle and fellow performer Walter Souza Braga Netto, wearing a bulletproof vest under his shirt.

Fearing for the safety of the presidential candidates, the event was held under tight security with metal detectors at the entrance.

A month before the election he won in 2018, Bolsonaro was stabbed in the stomach at a campaign event.

The last Datafolha poll in June showed Lula at the top with 47 percent, followed by Bolsonaro with 28 percent.

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#Bolsonaro #launches #campaign #attacks #electoral #system #main #competitor

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