Election countdown with Lula and Bolsonaro accusing each other of corruption

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By Carlos Meneses |

Sao Paulo (EFE) .- The Brazilian election campaign entered its home stretch this Sunday with President Jair Bolsonaro and former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva launching accusations of corruption, a week before the elections.

All polls place Lula as the favorite to claim victory next Sunday, with a 10-15 point advantage over the far-right leader, who is rushing his options to at least force a runoff scheduled for October 30.

The candidate of the Workers’ Party (PT), who governed Brazil between 2003 and 2010, would be elected president again, if he exceeds 50% of the valid votes on the same day 2, a scenario that several polls are already anticipating.

Lula, 76,’s strategy to end the contest in the first round is to appeal to the “useful vote”, subtracting the support of Labor party Ciro Gomes and center-right senator Simone Tebet, who together represent almost 15% of voting intentions. combat abstention and seduce the undecided.

“We will try to convince as many people as possible to vote,” the former union leader told his supporters at a rally in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.

Brazilian presidential candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva attends a campaign event in Rio de Janeiro. EFE/Antonio Lacerda

The “And you more” of corruption

Lula also attacked Bolsonaro, recalling his covid-19 denial, corruption probes into the health and education portfolios under his leadership, and suspicions surrounding the leader’s family’s real estate dealings.

“He does not explain to anyone how he bought 51 properties with 26 million ‘reais (nearly 5 million dollars)’ in cash”, denounced the former president, referring to a recent report by the UOL portal which analyzed 107 real estate transactions carried out. by Bolsonaro, his children, his ex-wives and his siblings since 1990.

Furthermore, he accused the 67-year-old retired army captain of controlling the prosecution and federal police to protect himself.

“Bolsonaro must stop being arrogant and must know that he must be accountable” because “he will have to explain certain things to Brazilian society”, he warned.

For his part, the far-right leader, who did not campaign this Sunday after having participated the day before in a televised debate in which Lula was absent, also exploits the corruption cases of the governments of the PT (2003-2016).

People attend a campaign rally for Brazilian presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Rio de Janeiro. EFE/Antonio Lacerda

The president generally calls Lula a “thief” and an “ex-con” for the 580 days the progressive leader spent in jail for corruption convictions that were later overturned by the Supreme Court.

In an apparent response, Lula said this Sunday that corruption in his government “came up because they pulled the rug out from under their feet” and “made laws” to fight it, and that his stay in prison served to “prove” his “innocence”.

Bolsonaro’s frontier: the poor and women

Amid this exchange of accusations, Bolsonaro is pushing ahead with his goal of winning votes among the poorest and most decisive women and groups, overwhelmingly sympathetic to Lula and those he tried to persuade during Saturday’s debate, a task which is not easy.

51% of the Brazilian electorate earn up to two minimum salaries per month (about 2,400 reais or 450 dollars), 57% of them support Lula, against 24% who support Bolsonaro, according to a survey by the Datafolha Institute published last Thursday. .

Something similar is happening among female voters. Lula holds 49% of the voting intentions and Bolsonaro 29%.

The president tried to reverse this trend in the debate, highlighting the number of detainees for gender-based violence and the social grants promoted under his administration.

People attend a campaign rally for Brazilian presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Rio de Janeiro. EFE/Antonio Lacerda

“This government takes a particular look at all the poor population, especially in the north-east”, the poorest region of the country and the historical breadbasket of the PT’s votes, he assured.

The good news for Bolsonaro is that he has narrowed the gap in the southeast, Brazil’s most populated area and where he will focus much of his efforts in this most polarized final week of the campaign. recent history.

Web editor: Sebastián Bayona

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