Brazil’s Bolsonaro, Lula make final appeals for votes

Oct 28, 2022, 9:05 PM | Updated: Oct 29, 2022, 9:08 pm

A woman waves a banner with an image of Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro during a campaign event i...

A woman waves a banner with an image of Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro during a campaign event in Brasilia, Brazil, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022. Bolsonaro is facing former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in a runoff election set for Oct. 30. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

(AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva made their final appeals for support ahead of Sunday’s presidential runoff vote following an acrimonious face-to-face debate.

The right-wing Bolsonaro took part in a motorcycle rally Saturday in Belo Horizonte, capital of a state that generally winds up backing the winner — and where he finished second to his leftist competitor in the initial round of voting.

Da Silva supporters, meanwhile rallied in the country’s biggest city, Sao Paulo, where Simone Tebet — a center-right candidate who finished third in the first round — pushed a da Silva victory in the runoff.

“I voted for Tebet on first round and now on second round I’m voting for Lula, against Bolsonaro. I have reservations about (da Silva’s) Worker’s Party, but this weekend I’m putting that aside” said Marcelo Erlich, a 55-year-old executive.

The appearances followed a combative Friday night debate on Globo TV that centered on the economy — an issue that could sway some of the few voters still undecided.

Da Silva, who leads in opinion polls and is trying to reclaim the job he held from 2003 to 2010, once more pledged to boost spending on the poor, though he did not outline a clear plan on how to do that.

He also said that due to inflation, the minimum wage is now worth less than when Bolsonaro was inaugurated.

Bolsonaro quickly promised to lift the minimum wage from $229 a month to $265 next year, though that wasn’t included in the budget proposal he has already sent to Congress. He said the economic downturn during the COVID-19 pandemic had prevented a minimum wage boost, but said the economy was improving.

“We did better than you would have done,” the president said to da Silva. “We are ready to take off. We have one of the world’s best economies now.”

Mario Sérgio Lima, a senior Brazil analyst for Medley Global Advisors, said the final debate probably would not sway many voters.

“Bolsonaro needed to score a big win. … He didn’t do very well among focus groups of undecided voters nor in online mentions,” Lima said, referring to surveys published online in real-time by pollsters. “Now, it is up to the edited videos that both campaigns will create to energize their supporters.”

Bolsonaro, who at one point said, “The whole system is against me,” appeared rattled at times.

This debate marked a change from their only previous encounter, when da Silva focused on the president’s widely criticized handling of the pandemic that killed more than 680,000 Brazilians and Bolsonaro homed in on corruption investigations that tarnished his opponent and the Workers’ Party as a whole. The two candidates raised these issues again Friday, but dwelled less on them.

Da Silva repeatedly sought to characterize Bolsonaro’s administration as isolated in the world, noting his scarcity of trips and allies abroad. Bolsonaro retorted that his trip to Russia secured a supply of fertilizer ahead of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, helping Brazilian agribusiness, and he said the Middle East receives him “with open arms.”

Bolsonaro closed by thanking God for saving his life after he was stabbed during the 2018 presidential campaign, and invoked his faith in an appeal to religious voters. Earlier in the debate, he threw his hands in the air and raised his arms, calling out his motto: “God! Country! Family!”

The tensest moment of the debate was when Bolsonaro called da Silva to stand next to him as he answered a question. “Stay here, Luiz,” the president said.

The former president shot back, “I don’t want to be anywhere near you,” then turned his back.

In a post-debate interview with TV Globo, Bolsonaro indicated that he will respect results of the vote. Many analysts have expressed concern he has laid the groundwork to challenge results if they are unfavorable, much like former U.S. President Donald Trump.

“There’s no doubt: Whoever has more votes takes it,” Bolsonaro said. “That is what a democracy is.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Protesters in Phoenix shout as they join thousands marching around the Arizona state Capitol after ...

Associated Press

Abortion ruling supercharges Arizona to be an especially important swing state

A ruling this week instituting a near-total abortion ban supercharged Arizona's role, turning it into the most critical battleground.

4 hours ago

Former President Donald Trump, center, appears in court for his arraignment, Tuesday, April 4, 2023...

Associated Press

Manhattan court searching for jurors to hear first-ever criminal case against a former president

Jury selection is set to start Monday in former President Donald Trump's hush money case — the first trial of the presumptive nominee.

5 hours ago

Emergency personnel arrive on the scene after a  an 18-wheeler crashed into the Texas Department of...

Associated Press

1 dead and 13 injured in semitrailer crash at a Texas public safety office, with the driver jailed

A driver rammed an 18-wheeler though the front of a building where his renewal for a commercial driver’s license had been rejected.

6 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a Get Out The Vote rally ...

Associated Press

Trump pushes Arizona lawmakers to ‘remedy’ state abortion ruling that he says ‘went too far’

Donald Trump urged Arizona lawmakers on Friday to swiftly “remedy” the state court ruling allowing prosecutors to enforce an abortion ban.

8 hours ago

Biden to require more gun dealers to run background checks....

Associated Press

Biden administration will require thousands more gun dealers to run background checks on buyers

New Biden rule to require thousands more firearms dealers across the United States will have to run background checks on buyers.

1 day ago

Instagram blurring out nudity with new app tools....

Associated Press

Instagram blurring nudity in messages to protect teens from sexual extortion

Instagram says it’s deploying new tools to protect young people and combat sexual extortion by blurring nudity.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.


Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

Brazil’s Bolsonaro, Lula make final appeals for votes