The heat has been turned up in the already fiery Brazilian election campaign with just one week left until the vote. Former president Lula de Silva has opened up a 14-point lead over his main rival, incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro, according to the latest polls, and could even win the presidency outright in this first round of elections.
The latest Datafolha poll projects Lula to have between 48 and 52% of the vote, one point higher than the previous week. Bolsonaro still lingers with 33% of projected votes. These data have boosted morale of former President Lula's supporters, who see the possibility of not having to resort to a second round to determine an outright majority. With this data, talks are intensifying of Lula's party utilizing a "useful vote," which would merge Lula's votes with those of other left-wing parties to give Lula the outright majority.
Forty percent see "very high" possibility of violence during the voting process
In addition to the voting forecast, Datafolha provided a very important piece of information: 40% of Brazilians consider the possibility of violent incidents during election day to be "very high". An additional 27% see it as "moderately" possible, and only 19 percent believe that there is no possibility of violence. Recently, a pollster was assaulted by a Bolsonaro supporter while trying to conduct a poll.
In this current political climate, and with two deaths on each side during the last week, the Superior Electoral Tribunal announced Thursday a ban on citizen-held arms and ammunition throughout the country. The ban includes persons licensed to do so, such as hunters, collectors and shooters, and take effect between Saturday and Monday.
Insults, reproaches and accusations on air
The two candidates exchanged insults and reproaches during the election-wide debate broadcasted on the Tv Globo network. Bolsonaro called Lula "liar, ex-convict and traitor to the homeland," and claimed that "[his] children stole millions from companies." Lula fired back, accusing the ex-military officer of lying and made strong criticisms of his adversary's pandemic response. He also highlighted the current president's alleged covering up of misappropriated money in the Ministry of Education.
"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 country of theft," pleaded Bolsonaro.
"Thief, ex-convict, liar"....
Lula moved to counterattack his opponent: "It is a lie to say that I set up a criminal organization. Instead of saying that, he should refer to the deviations of which his children are accused, of the thefts in his Ministry of Education, of the mafia that tried to obtain advantage with the sale of vaccines against COVID."
Bolsonaro retorted with accusations of "persecution" by the Superior Electoral Court and demanded the presence of the army in the scoring of electronic votes. The current president again was ambiguous regarding whether or not he will accept the outcome of the polls. During an interview with Tv Record, Bolsonaro responded that he will wait for the results before deciding.
Neymar backs Bolsonaro
In the midst of it all, Paris Saint Germain and Brazilian national team forward Neymar uploaded a video to his Tik Tok account in which he endorses Bolsonaro.
Hollywood endorsements for Lula
Lula has received support from actors such as Danny Glover and Mark Ruffalo. The latter posted a video on social media in which he encouraged his "Brazilian friends" to consider the Amazon rainforest before voting and cast their votes for Lula.
Today, I humbly add my voice to lift up the global consequences of the Brazilian election. You can watch my message, and more importantly the words of many brave Brazilian defenders of democracy & the planet in today's livestream event. Lula speaking soon! https://t.co/ARkVTXMnpS
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) September 26, 2022
The actor currently has the video listed as private on YouTube, but a Lula follower has uploaded the video to Twitter, which can be seen below.
— comboio® (@comboiodeletras) September 28, 2022