Far-right politician Jair Bolsonaro — who once said he’d prefer a dead son to a gay son — has won Brazil’s presidential election.
Known for his attacks on women, gays and black people, Mr Bolsonaro was a divisive and controversial candidate who nevertheless maintained his frontrunner position throughout the election campaign.
He told Playboy in 2011,
“I would not be able to love a gay son. I would rather he die in an accident.“
Once asked what he would do if one of his sons dated a black woman, he said
“I don’t run this risk since my sons were very well educated.“
And more recently, he also defended accusations that he was a rapist, telling a fellow member of Parliament:
“A few days ago you called me a rapist in the Green Room, and I said I wouldn’t rape you because you’re not worthy of it.“
He has also expressed his fondness for Brazil’s brutal military dictatorship, that came to an end in 1985. Despite being stabbed at a rally in early September, Mr Bolsonaro recovered from the subsequent surgery to return to the campaign trail, running a Trump-style campaign using social media as a wave of frustration over corruption and crime brought a dramatic swing to the right in the world’s fourth-largest democracy.
Bolsonaro’s supporters set off fireworks on Rio’s Copacabana Beach as they celebrated but protesters also demonstrated and riot police launched tear gas to silence opposition protesters.
In a highly unusual moment, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, Jose Dias Toffoli, read out part of the Constitution to reporters after casting his vote, in remarks many took to be a rebuke of Bolsonaro and his more extreme positions.
“The future president must respect institutions, must respect democracy, the rule of law, the judiciary branch, the national Congress and the legislative branch.“
Environmentalists are concerned Bolsonaro will reduce Brazil’s efforts to stop the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, which is seen as essential to soaking up carbon emissions responsible for global warming.
But he’s so far backed off a plan to follow Trump’s example and pull Brazil out of the Paris climate change accord.
Delivering his victory speech, Bolsonaro declared the result to be,
“not the victory of a party, but the celebration of freedom by a country. Our government will be formed by people that have the same purpose of everyone listening to me right now. The purpose of transforming our Brazil in a great, free and prosperous nation.“
He also said he would,
“lead a government which defends and protects the rights of citizens who comply with their duties and respect the laws”.
His rival, Mr Haddad, did not concede or even mention Mr Bolsonaro by name. Instead, his speech was a promise to resist.
“We have the responsibility to mount an opposition, putting national interests, the interests of the entire Brazilian people, above everything.
Brazil has never needed the exercise of citizenship more than right now.“
According to NBC News, Trump says he’s had “very good conversation” with Bolsonaro,
“We agreed that Brazil and the United States will work closely together on Trade, Military and everything else!“
So sorry, Brazil. Resist.
JUST IN: Pres. Trump says had “very good conversation” with far-right lawmaker Jair Bolsonaro, who won Brazil's presidential election Sunday: "We agreed that Brazil and the United States will work closely together on Trade, Military and everything else!" https://t.co/QjYQaWwCBD
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 29, 2018
Ex-army captain Jair Bolsonaro wins Brazil's presidential election, shifting Latin America's largest country sharply to the right https://t.co/rcholxShfm
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) October 28, 2018
Thousands of supporters cheer and set off fireworks outside the home of Jair Bolsonaro in Rio de Janeiro as far-right Brazilian congressman wins presidency. https://t.co/dM6qP5RChH pic.twitter.com/I1J7vFvej0
— ABC News (@ABC) October 29, 2018