Brazil’s election



The Korea Times Co.


Four years ago, many Brazilians regarded the prospect of a victory for the far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro first with incredulity and then — rightly — with horror. As the Oct. 2 election approaches, the fear that he will remain in power is greater still. He has proved a reckless and incompetent leader and remains a menace to democracy and the planet — egging on those destroying the Amazon rainforest, who are currently redoubling their efforts at the prospect of losing their champion. His main rival, the former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, is more than 15 percentage points ahead in the latest major poll. The danger is that Bolsonaro regards the actual vote as something of an irrelevance. Around a million citizens — including leading figures from business, politics, science and the arts — have signed a manifesto warning that democracy faces “immense danger.” Bolsonaro has abruptly cut fuel taxes, sent monthly cash transfers to poor families and is wooing evangelical churches devotedly again, while smearing his essentially pragmatic leftist rival — who was jailed for corruption but then saw his convictions quashed — as a crazed ideologue. But while double-digit inflation and high unemployment may have peaked, a victory at the polls for Bolsonaro looks unlikely.