Bolsonaro and Lula take off their rags in the sun in a debate

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Rio de Janeiro (EFE) .- President Jair Bolsonaro and former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who lead polls for voting intentions for Sunday’s presidential elections in Brazil, took off their rags in the sun this Thursday because of the corruption of their governments in the last televised debate before the elections.

The far-right leader and the progressive leader, who are leading the most polarized elections in Brazil’s history, launched fierce attacks during the debate organized by Globo, the country’s most listened-to network, in which they quoted the various corruption scandals of their governments.

President and candidate for re-election, Jair Bolsonaro (r) with his son Carlos during the debate with the candidates, at TV Globo studios in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). EFE/André Coelho

“What is at stake in the elections is the future of the Nation. Brazil was a kleptocracy. Lula was the head of a large criminal organization. We cannot continue in the land of theft,” Bolsonaro said, recalling scandals such as the massive embezzlement of public resources by state oil company Petrobras.

The far-right leader claimed to have won the 2018 elections to put an end to the theft and corruption of the governments of the Workers’ Party (PT), the formation which governed Brazil for 13 years first with Lula and then with Dilma Rousseff.

The presidential candidate of the Workers’ Party (PT), Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, attends the debate with the candidates, at the TV Globo studios in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). EFE/André Coelho

Lula defends himself

The former union leader, favorite for the elections with around 48% of the voting intentions and who can guarantee his election on Sunday since he would have more than 50% of the valid votes, asked for the right to defend himself and took advantage of the minutes given to him to retaliate.

“It is a lie to say that I set up a criminal organization. Instead of saying that, he should refer to the embezzlements of which his children are accused, to the hold-ups in his Ministry of Education, to the mafia who tried to gain an advantage with the sale of vaccines against covid, ”said the left-wing candidate.

According to Lula, his accusations are not the “blatant lies” cited by Bolsonaro, but rather the findings of a congressional committee that investigated the handling of the pandemic.

“Liar, ex-prisoner, traitor to the homeland”, immediately reacted the head of state, who was also granted the right of reply, recalling the 580 days that Lula spent in prison, sentenced for two trials for corruption which were eventually overturned by the Supreme Court. Court of Irregularities.

The president and candidate for re-election, Jair Bolsonaro, attends the debate with the other candidates, in the studios of TV Globo in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). EFE/André Coelho

Bolsonaro recalled that Lula had been convicted in three different instances and released for having a “boyfriend” before the Supreme Court.

He also recalled a corruption scandal that affected one of Lula’s sons and reports of bribes received by allies of the former president in different states.

“It’s crazy that a president comes here to say that. It’s a nerve,” replied Lula, before declaring that one of the first measures of his government, if elected, will be to end to the 100-year secrecy that Bolsonaro has imposed on data involving his family. “I’m going to remove these seals to find out what he wants to hide,” he said.

the other candidates

Corruption scandals in the Lula government were also cited by other candidates.

Novo party candidate Felipe D’Avila claimed the progressive leader was responsible for the biggest corruption scandals in Brazil’s history. “How come a person like that has the moral capacity to lead Brazil,” he said.

Democratic Labor Party (PDT) presidential candidate Ciro Gomes (r) speaks with his wife Giselle Bezerra during the debate at TV Globo studios in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). EFE/André Coelho

Labor candidate Ciro Gomes, who was a minister in the first Lula government, claimed that many people involved in business with the executive confessed to stealing and returning 16 billion reais (about $3,076 million) to the state. “It’s not enough to say nothing happened,” he said.

Faced with the accusations of the various participants in the debate, Lula recalled all the measures he adopted to fight against corruption in his government and affirmed that it is such decisions that have made it possible to dismantle the networks of corruption and punish the responsible.

Web edition: Natalia Sarmiento.

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