Jair Bolsonaro
Jair Bolsonaro

Bolsonaro set to win as polling ends in Brazil

ANI | Updated: Oct 29, 2018 04:08 IST

Brasilia [Brazil], Oct 29 (ANI): Polling closed in Brazil’s heated Presidential election on Sunday with controversial Social Liberal Party candidate Jair Bolsonaro looking set to be elected as the next President of the South American nation.
Economic recession, a heightening sense of insecurity, and corruption scandals were among the factors voters considered for one of the most divided and violent Presidential elections in Brazil. Polling closed by late afternoon (local time) across most parts of the country, including major cities like Brasilia, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, CNN reported.
At the start of the polling, Bolsonaro was in the lead ahead of ex-Sao Paulo mayor and Workers Party (PT) candidate Fernando Haddad. Statistics from a Datafolha poll indicated that 56 per cent of Brazilian voters favoured Bolsonaro as their next President, with the rest 44 per cent supporting Hadda’s cause.
Bolsonaro, a former army captain, had won the first round of elections among 13 candidates earlier this month, although, he failed to clear the 50 per cent mark in order to be declared the outright winner and prevent contesting against Haddad.
“This has been an unprecedented election. The rhetoric used by both candidates throughout the campaign has been extremely aggressive,” CNN quoted Marco Antonio Teixeira, a political science professor at the Getulio Vargas Foundation, as saying.
A fake news scandal was prominent in the lead up to the elections. Messaging platform WhatsApp was forced to shut down numerous accounts as an investigation by Brazil publication Folha de Sao Paulo revealed that companies were purchasing ‘messaging packages’ to propagate negative campaigns on users phones. Hadad’s Workers' Party was the most targeted in the campaigns.
Facebook also shut several pages and groups as they were identified as “fake accounts.”  
“Today, as part of our ongoing efforts to protect our community from this type of abuse, Facebook removed 68 Pages and 43 accounts associated with a Brazilian marketing group, Raposo Fernandes Associados (RFA), for violating our misrepresentation and spam policies,” Facebook said in a statement.
The RFA had created a number of pages and groups in support of Bolsonaro, although the latter’s supporters refute these claims, instead blaming the PT of using the same as a distraction as they were behind in the polls.
Bolsonaro had stirred controversy by making misogynistic and homophobic remarks and is often compared to US President Donald Trump and the Philippines' Rodrigo Duterte. The 63-year-old made headlines last month when he was stabbed in the abdomen during his campaign event in the state of Minas Gerais. (ANI)

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