Sunday, 24 March, 2019


FP’s Guide to the Bolsonaro Presidency

Jair Bolsonaro supporters rally in Rio de Janeiro Sputnik Thales Schmidt'Tropical Trump Bolsonaro Poised for Victory in Brazil's Presidential Runoff
Kristine Garrett | 03 November, 2018, 16:27

President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated right-wing politician, Mr Jair Bolsonaro on his victory in Brazil's presidential election run-off on Sunday.

Bolsonaro, a legislator and former military officer, campaigned on his own version of Trump's "America First" slogan and eagerly embraces the term "fake news" to describe critical press coverage. But investors said further gains will hinge on clearer signs he will deliver on a market-friendly agenda. However, his praise of Brazil's former dictatorship and his comments on race, women and homosexuality have raised concern. His victory brings Brazil´s military back into the political limelight after it spent three decades in the barracks following the country´s 1964-1985 dictatorship.

Bolsonaro, 63, said he planned to govern "following the teachings of God, alongside the Brazilian constitution and with good technical advice, without political leanings".

The president-elect's future chief of staff told Reuters his first worldwide trip would be to Chile, another South American nation that swung to the political right in recent elections, and soon after that he hoped to visit the United States.

A former environment minister tweeted that the move was "tragic".

His populist approach has led to some media dubbing him "Trump of the Tropics".

Brazil and South Africa share membership of the important BRICS and IBSA formations.

Despite relatively robust legal protections, Brazil is already the deadliest place for environmentalists, with pressure group Global Witness recording 57 deaths of people protecting land there a year ago.

Charles Tang, chairman of the Brazil-China chamber of commerce in Rio de Janeiro, said he believes Bolsonaro will moderate his positions once in office, and that the president-elect's attempts to forge closer ties to the Trump administration should not harm relations with China. Bolsonaro relied on the support of evangelical groups in the run-up to the election.

Bolsonaro himself was stabbed in the abdomen at a rally last month and will need to undergo surgery in mid-December to remove a colostomy bag before he can travel to Santiago and Washington.

Bolsonaro defeated his Leftist opponent Fernando Haddad of the Workers' Party 55.5 per cent against 44.5 per cent of the votes with 96 per cent of ballots counted.

Activists are particularly anxious about the implications for the Amazon rainforest, the "lungs of the planet", which is already losing an area the size of Costa Rica to deforestation each year.

In a 2013 interview with British television personality Stephen Fry, Bolsonaro said that "Brazilian society doesn't like homosexuals" and claimed that gays were brainwashing heterosexual children to "become gays and lesbians to satisfy them sexually in the future".

Bolsonaro's rhetoric has proved beneficial to certain sectors.

Brazil's president-elect Jair Bolsonaro says he wants the country's best-known anti-corruption judge to be justice minister or to serve on the Supreme Court. Globo said on Tuesday that federal government advertising represented less than 4 percent of the revenue for its flagship channel, TV Globo, without providing more detailed figures.

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