May 30, 2023

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Bolsonaro and Lula go head-to-head in a heated first debate in Brazil

President Jair Bolsonaro and former president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva This Sunday, August 28, he exchanged accusations face-to-face First televised debate Heading into the October elections Brazilmost polarized in decades.

It is the first time in Brazil’s recent history that two arch-rivals have been central figures. Measured face to face.

His government was the most corrupt in Brazilian history“, 67-year-old far-right Bolsonaro, in his first speech to the poll-favorite leftist leader. Minutes before the debate, President Lula was branded a “thief”.

Brazil presidential debate. Photo: AFP

Lula, 76, defended the social improvements of her governments (2003-2010), The current president is “ruining” the country..

Both candidates, dressed in dark suits, white shirts and ties, They accused each other of lyingBut the tension was especially palpable in the next room, where journalists and politicians continued their debate on a screen.

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Recorded there The beginning of the riot During a debate between Lula’s ally, deputy Andre Janones, and Bolsonaro’s former environment minister, Ricardo Salles, they came close to attacking each other.

Organized by a group of Brazilian media outlets including Rede Bandeirantes and the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper, the debate is the first on the campaign calendar ahead of the Oct. 2 elections.

Debate Brazil Jair Bolsonaro Lula G_20220828
Jair Bolsonaro. Photo: AFP

In the first part of the debate, which lasted a total of three hours, Lula focused his speech on protecting the environment and the Amazon, while Bolsonaro was criticized by other candidates for the increase in deforestation during his tenure, the progress of inflation. Famine.

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In a particularly tense moment, the president attacked journalist Vera Magalhas in a question for allegedly spreading false information about the anti-Covid vaccines.

Vera, you sleep thinking about me, you have some kind of attraction…You cannot stand aside in such a debate and make false accusations against me. You are a disgrace to the Brazilian press,” the president said.

Essay on misogyny Later, by senatorial candidate Simone Tebet, Bolsonaro dismissed the criticism and called it “cheap talk”.

Brazil presidential debate

Like Lula, Bolsonaro waited until the last moment to confirm his participation.

Initially, organizers said through a lottery Lula and Bolsonaro were to sit next to each other, but this was changed at the last minute.

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Before the debate, when reporters questioned the reason for the change, Bolsonaro said he had no problem appearing on his side. “I will not shake hands with a thief“, he noted Corruption scandals gave way to Lula’s decrees.

Lula was imprisoned from April 2018 to November 2019 on corruption charges. In 2021, a judge overturned his convictions, deeming the court that tried him in the first instance incompetent. The former president has argued that he has been proven innocent, but all the candidates have repeatedly accused him of “corruption”.

“Lula was shy and even made mistakes on some issues. Other times she was not sharp,” political analyst Andre Cesar from the Holt consultancy told AFP. “Bolsonaro was relaxed, releasing his phrases, smiling. In that sense Bolsonaro wins 1-0″is estimated.

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Besides Lula and Bolsonaro, the crowd includes four other candidates: former finance minister Ciro Gomez (PDT, center-left), third in the polls (7%); Senator Simone Debet (MTP, centre) in fourth place; Senator Soraya Thronik (Unio Brasil) and Felipe D’Ávila both have less than 1% of voting intentions.

For security reasons, there is no audience in the studio.

Debate Brazil Jair Bolsonaro Lula G_20220828
fish type. Photo: AFP

Lula is ahead in the polls over Bolsonaro

Lula, who ruled Brazil between 2003 and 2010, is leading the race with 47% willing to vote against Bolsonaro’s 32%, according to a Datafolha Institute survey released on August 18. Other polls also put Lula in the lead, albeit by a small margin.

In 2018, when he won the election, Bolsonaro only participated in the first two presidential debates. With one month left for the first round, He was stabbed during a campaign rally And after the surgery, he never debated again.

Neither Lula nor former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso (PSDB, center) participated in the pre-first-round debates when they sought re-election in 2006 and 1998, respectively.


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