Brazil’s Presidential election concluded on October 2nd with no winner in the first round.
Left-wing candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva led with 48% of the vote while incumbent right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro received only 43% of the vote.
The two will head off in a second round of voting on October 30th with large consequences for both Brazil and the world.
President Bolsonaro has made many claims of electoral fraud in Brazil’s voting system without any evidence and has claimed that “only God” could remove him from office.
This has led experts to worry that Bolsonaro will refuse to accept the outcome of the election if Lula wins and may attempt an insurrection similar to that of Donald Trump’s January 6thstorming of the U.S. Capitol.
As well, President Bolsonaro has enacted policies that have accelerated deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. If elected to a second term, climate scientists worry that the Amazon will reach a tipping point of turning from a rainforest into a savannah—releasing massive amounts of carbon dioxide and accelerating climate change.
Bolsonaro’s opponent, Lula da Silva, was the former President of Brazil from 2003 to 2010. He was convicted for corruption and money laundering in April 2018 and spent time in prison until November 2019 when he was released early. His sentence was withdrawn in March 2021 due to an unfair trial.
Even if Lula wins the second round, his powers as President will be limited due to Bolsonaro’s party making large gains in Congress.
The third and fourth place candidates, Simone Tebet and Ciro Gomes, have announced their support for Lula which potentially gives him the majority needed to win the election.
By: Jared Skoro