Brazil: Far-Right Candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, Won the Presidential Election by a Wide Margin

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Jair Bolsonaro, 63, Brazil’s new president-elect who was stabbed and seriously injured during his campaign, is a former army captain who won the election by promising to reform corruption after more than a decade of left-wing socialist policies.  Bolsonaro promised to crack down on crime as Brazil reports 60,000 gun deaths each year.  He proposes fighting against crime by expanding the military’s presence on the streets, increasing prison sentences, and giving the police more autonomy to open fire on suspected criminals.  In addition, he proposes arming responsible citizens.  Bolsonaro also promised to prosecute dozens of corrupt politicians involved in a scandal that saw billions of pounds stolen from the public budget.  Bolsonaro is an Evangelical Christian and staunch Zionist, and he has confirmed he will join the United States in moving Brazil’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. 

Jair Bolsonaro became president-elect of Brazil on Sunday in a stunning repudiation of the country’s left-wing political establishment.

Bolsonaro achieved an expected victory over his socialist opponent Fernando Haddad with around 55 percent of the vote, sparking political debate around the world. The 63-year-old former army captain is known for his hardline conservative and often controversial positions that he believes will push Brazil towards a new era of prosperity.

Fighting Crime and Corruption

The centerpiece of Jair Bolsonaro’s campaign was his promise to crack down on soaring levels of crime in the country. Brazil currently documents over 60,000 gun deaths every year. Bolsonaro has proposed fighting against crime by expanding the military’s presence on the streets, increasing prison sentences, and giving the police more autonomy to open fire on suspected criminals.

As well as tackling violent crime, Bolsonaro has pledged to push for the prosecution of the dozens of left-wing politicians involved in the country’s “Operation Car Wash” corruption scandal that saw billions of pounds stolen from the public budget. One of those found guilty was former leftist President Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva, who Bolsonaro has promised to keep in jail for the remainder of his 12-year sentence.

Social Conservatism

An Evangelical Christian, Bolsonaro holds socially conservative views. Bolsonaro has claimed that the socialist Workers’ Party (PT) was planning to promote a “gay kit” curriculum in schools and vowed to limit sexual education. He has also vowed to cut spending for sexually-tinged art, condemning allegedly government-funded “masturbation offices and ‘plays with people poking their orifices” on Twitter. He has also referred to himself as a “proud homophobe,” though he reportedly received around 29 percent of Brazil’s LGBT vote.

On the issue of abortion, he has pledged to block any loosening of Brazil’s abortion laws, as well as pull funding from NGOs that promote the practice.

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