Brazil’s Bolsonaro loses bid for second term in fiercely contested presidential vote Published duration 1 December 2019 Related Topics Brazil election 2019
image copyright Reuters image caption Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro (L) won with 51% of the vote – but less than 50% of the votes cast
A deeply polarised Brazilian election turned into another close run-off vote after the country’s far-right leader, Jair Bolsonaro, lost his bid for a second four-year term.
Bolsonaro won 51% of the vote – fewer than half the 51.4% he won in 2018.
His main rival, leftist candidate Fernando Haddad, won 46.6%.
But despite his narrow victory, President Bolsonaro is expected to make a triumphant comeback as the new Congress convenes late, early next week, in his hometown of Suzano.
“Bolsonaro will come back to power, because this congress is not an electoral college,” said one of Bolsonaro’s rivals, Eduardo Suplicy, leader of a major pro-government party, the Social Christian Party (PSC).
In a country which has experienced three consecutive one-term presidencies, the possibility of Bolsonaro returning to office for a fourth term was a major shock.
Bolsonaro is an ultra-right populist who has built a massive and passionate fan base, and, despite having a history of misogyny and racism, his victory was widely seen as a repudiation of a country shaken by two years of economic crisis and rising anger at a lack of opportunity in Brazil.
The presidential election was the most unpredictable in decades. It was also the first time in Brazil’s democracy that the main contestants had stood in the first round of voting, rather than following an election-style poll first in a single district.
image copyright Reuters image caption Bolsonaro was the favourite for a fourth term in October
image copyright Reuters
image copyright Reuters image caption But, as was the case with the 2018 run-off, Haddad was seen as the front-runner
On Sunday, Mr Bolsonaro gave his acceptance speech – a show of resilience in a country where the phrase “Bolsonaro