Lula vs. Bolsonaro: Tensions rise in Brazil as election nears

Al Jazeera English reports: With rival Lula leading in Brazils’ presidential polls ahead of Oct 2 elections, observers fear Bolsonaro will not accept defeat.

In a survey by Brazil’s Datafolha late last month, the former union leader had an 18-point lead over Bolsonaro, with support from 47 percent of respondents compared with 29 percent for the incumbent. If Lula receives more than 50 percent of the vote in the first round, he would win the election outright, without the need for a runoff.

But after a series of sustained verbal attacks on Brazil’s electronic voting system throughout his mandate, observers are worried as to whether Bolsonaro – an outspoken admirer of former US President Donald Trump – would ultimately accept a loss, and what ramifications could follow. Some fear it could lead to an even more violent version of the January 6 United States Capitol riots.

In the run-up to the ballot, Bolsonaro and his allies have cast doubt on Datafolha, a major pollster in Brazil that predicted his win in 2018, nicknaming it “Datafraude”.

Mmost analysts expect that Lula’s lead will narrow as the election approaches. “The natural tendency with an election is that whoever has the political machine grows stronger as the vote gets closer,” said Thomas Traumann, an independent consultant who served as social communications minister under Lula’s successor, Dilma Rousseff.

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