Former army captain Jair Bolsonaro was elected president of Brazil on Sunday, promising a fundamental change in direction for the giant Latin American country, rejecting by wide margins Leftists’ lies, duplicity and corruption.
Bolsonaro managed to tap voters’ deep anger over crime and economic malaise.
Official results gave the president-elect 55.13 percent of the vote in the run-off election, to 44.87 for leftist opponent Fernando Haddad, with 99.99 percent of the ballots counted according to AFP/Yahoo.
Bolsonaro, 63, will assume office January 1 and pledged, “We will change Brazil’s destiny together.” His victory speech was broadcast live on Facebook, the platform he has used to campaign since an attacker stabbed him in the stomach at a rally on September 6.
Sitting next to his wife and wearing a dark blazer, the longtime congressman delivered his speech in a stern voice. He swore to govern “following the Bible and the constitution,” and said: “We cannot continue flirting with socialism, communism, populism and the extremism of the left.”
But he promised to defend “the constitution, democracy and freedom,” fending off opponents’ warnings he would try to veer toward authoritarianism.
Thousands of supporters flooded the streets outside his home in Rio de Janeiro, waving Brazilian flags and lighting up the sky with fireworks.
“All these people here are outraged, upset about corruption and crime, and we are with Bolsonaro. The people have spoken. For the first time I feel represented,” said Andre Luiz Lobo, 38, a businessman who — not incidentally, given the accusations of racism against his candidate — is black.
On the other side, the reaction was despair — and a defiant vow to resist. Sound familiar?
Haddad, a former Sao Paulo mayor, said he would fight to “defend the freedoms of those 45 million people” who voted for him, after Bolsonaro vowed late in the campaign to “cleanse” Brazil of leftist “reds.” Aides said Haddad, 55, had not called Bolsonaro to congratulate him.
“Fascists!” shouted tearful supporters at the headquarters of Haddad’s Workers’ Party in Sao Paulo. “I’m surprised Brazilians would vote for hate, for guns,” said Flavia Castelhanos, 31, after wiping away her tears, wearing a pin that said “Not him” – opponents’ rallying cry against Bolsonaro.
The environmental group Amazon Watch warned Bolsonaro — who has vowed not to let conservation programs interfere with agro-industry — “spells disaster for the Brazilian Amazon.” Click here for more from Yahoo.com.