Far right Jair Bolsonaro elected Brazil president

Brazil second round will be on Sunday Oct. 28

Jair Bolsonaro, a former army captain and conservative congressman, won Brazil's presidency this Saturday, beating out his leftist opponent Fernando Haddad with some 55% of the vote, reports USA Today.

Thousands of Bolsonaro supporters cheered and set off fireworks outside his home in Rio de Janeiro's Barra de Tijuca beachfront neighbourhood as his victory was announced. "People want the PT out, they can't take any more corruption", said Tatiana Cunha, a 39-year-old systems analyst in the midst of the noisy celebrations.

Bolsonaro, a pro-torture, openly bigoted member of Congress, won a run-off election on October 28, 2018 and will take office as president of Brazil on January 1, 2019.

Bolsonaro, who ran on promises to clean up Brazil and bring back "traditional values", said he would respect the constitution and personal liberty.

Delivered in a stern tone, the speech also featured more divisive moments.

He pledged to govern "following the Bible and the constitution", and said: "We can not continue flirting with socialism, communism, populism and the extremism of the left".

Bolsonaro's win alarmed critics around the globe, mainly because of his vows to sweep away leftist political opponents and his history of making insulting comments about gays, women and minorities.

Bolsonaro supporters celebrating in Río de Janeiro. "For the first time I feel represented", said Andre Luiz Lobo, 38, a businessman who - not incidentally, given accusations of racism against his candidate - is black.

"I was on the other side, but now I'm for Bolsonaro", said Ozisas Dasiovs, who expressed frustration regarding the country's current state.

In his decades-long career in Congress and as a presidential candidate, Bolsonaro has endorsed abusive practices that undermine the rule of law, defended the country´s dictatorship, and has been a vocal proponent of bigotry, Human Rights Watch said.

"Here is the reason why the Sao Paulo Forum and its minions in Bolivia are nervous and attack Las Calles Bolivia", linking to a video showing a leader of Las Calles talking with Bolsonaro several months ago.

While French leftists say Mr Bolsonaro's election win is a body blow for democracy, the French far-right sees his win as a victory for nationalists all around the world.

Political analysts and activists reacted to the news in grim tones.

"This country belongs to all of us, Brazilians by birth or by heart, a Brazil of diverse opinions, colors and orientations", he said, reading off a sheet of paper in a live television address.

"We are going to change the social-democratic economic model".

His links to the military and admiration for the former dictatorship concern many Brazilians, as do his sexist, racist and homophobic remarks.

He once told a congresswoman that she did not deserve to be raped because she was "very ugly", Brazil's TV Globo reported.

However Mr Haddad's PT remains the largest party, with 56 seats.

The highly divisive Lula, who stands accused of masterminding the massive pilfering of state oil company Petrobras, was barred from running because he is serving a 12-year sentence for bribery.

French President Emmanuel Macron's message to Bolsonaro highlighted the need for "promotion of democratic principles", and Spanish President Pedro Sánchez spoke of enormous challenges in the years to come.

Brazilians on Sunday were weighing their hunger for radical change against fears that the presidential front-runner could threaten democracy as they cast ballots in the culmination of a bitter campaign that split many families and was frequently marred by violence.

"It used to be people would actually vote for what they wanted, and not just against something", he said.



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