The Fort Worth Press - Gloves off in Brazil as Bolsonaro, Lula launch campaigns

USD -
AED 3.672945
AFN 71.010209
ALL 92.079172
AMD 389.71054
ANG 1.808901
AOA 872.635022
ARS 924.74998
AUD 1.49256
AWG 1.8
AZN 1.698816
BAM 1.795506
BBD 2.026568
BDT 117.931652
BGN 1.79641
BHD 0.376908
BIF 2890.192514
BMD 1
BND 1.34558
BOB 6.935774
BRL 5.544698
BSD 1.003691
BTN 83.946037
BWP 13.581448
BYN 3.284647
BYR 19600
BZD 2.023171
CAD 1.37071
CDF 2830.000083
CHF 0.88943
CLF 0.033823
CLP 933.28001
CNY 7.266699
CNH 7.283445
COP 4023.16
CRC 524.933901
CUC 1
CUP 26.5
CVE 101.228346
CZK 23.200402
DJF 178.7052
DKK 6.85359
DOP 59.369492
DZD 134.526067
EGP 48.247004
ERN 15
ETB 58.00134
EUR 0.91858
FJD 2.235702
FKP 0.77056
GBP 0.773345
GEL 2.715015
GGP 0.77056
GHS 15.487294
GIP 0.77056
GMD 67.818493
GNF 8646.157518
GTQ 7.788703
GYD 209.982741
HKD 7.810705
HNL 24.860458
HRK 6.90795
HTG 132.492403
HUF 358.922014
IDR 16191.15
ILS 3.663645
IMP 0.77056
INR 83.63505
IQD 1314.813455
IRR 42087.494858
ISK 137.51022
JEP 0.77056
JMD 157.22312
JOD 0.708704
JPY 157.79102
KES 131.00028
KGS 84.802497
KHR 4122.026678
KMF 450.55002
KPW 900.00035
KRW 1387.209671
KWD 0.30568
KYD 0.836424
KZT 479.197268
LAK 22221.100176
LBP 89880.471504
LKR 305.128158
LRD 195.872503
LSL 18.300712
LTL 2.95274
LVL 0.60489
LYD 4.848157
MAD 9.833652
MDL 17.750257
MGA 4525.925382
MKD 56.560297
MMK 3247.960992
MNT 3450.000346
MOP 8.072121
MRU 39.695028
MUR 46.650145
MVR 15.309968
MWK 1740.415687
MXN 17.953947
MYR 4.6765
MZN 63.899991
NAD 18.300712
NGN 1627.34022
NIO 36.942511
NOK 10.84382
NPR 134.312573
NZD 1.65852
OMR 0.384969
PAB 1.003691
PEN 3.739075
PGK 3.931037
PHP 58.28103
PKR 279.226737
PLN 3.943016
PYG 7574.728261
QAR 3.645701
RON 4.563599
RSD 107.519051
RUB 88.401597
RWF 1314.721651
SAR 3.750798
SBD 8.457605
SCR 13.618475
SDG 591.999581
SEK 10.635725
SGD 1.344705
SHP 0.77056
SLE 22.847303
SLL 20969.503664
SOS 573.589894
SRD 29.56501
STD 20697.981008
SVC 8.781948
SYP 2512.53037
SZL 18.30108
THB 36.259012
TJS 10.679256
TMT 3.51
TND 3.10373
TOP 2.363097
TRY 33.107175
TTD 6.794396
TWD 32.757995
TZS 2684.999965
UAH 41.629609
UGX 3703.36369
UYU 40.301851
UZS 12634.03349
VEF 3622552.534434
VES 36.526818
VND 25340
VUV 118.722038
WST 2.803608
XAF 602.193192
XAG 0.03399
XAU 0.000414
XCD 2.70255
XDR 0.757106
XOF 602.193192
XPF 109.485165
YER 250.324993
ZAR 18.28105
ZMK 9001.201301
ZMW 26.522106
ZWL 321.999592
  • RBGPF

    56.4540

    56.454

    +100%

  • CMSC

    -0.0560

    24.294

    -0.23%

  • GSK

    -0.4800

    39.36

    -1.22%

  • BCE

    -0.0400

    33.33

    -0.12%

  • AZN

    -1.7000

    78.06

    -2.18%

  • BCC

    -1.6200

    132.1

    -1.23%

  • CMSD

    -0.0750

    24.47

    -0.31%

  • SCS

    -0.2200

    13.7

    -1.61%

  • NGG

    -0.8300

    60.95

    -1.36%

  • RIO

    -1.4000

    64.37

    -2.17%

  • RELX

    -0.3200

    45.08

    -0.71%

  • BTI

    0.3400

    33.04

    +1.03%

  • RYCEF

    -0.3700

    5.57

    -6.64%

  • JRI

    -0.3500

    12.28

    -2.85%

  • BP

    0.1700

    35.59

    +0.48%

  • VOD

    -0.0800

    9.09

    -0.88%

Gloves off in Brazil as Bolsonaro, Lula launch campaigns
Gloves off in Brazil as Bolsonaro, Lula launch campaigns / Photo: © AFP

Gloves off in Brazil as Bolsonaro, Lula launch campaigns

Ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and incumbent Jair Bolsonaro traded insults Tuesday as they launched their campaigns for Brazil's October elections in dueling rallies highlighting the South American giant's deep divisions.

Text size:

The two front-runners, who have in reality been campaigning for months, made it official on opening day with events that also showcased their polar-opposite styles.

Bolsonaro, 67, launched his campaign with a rally in Juiz de Fora, the small southeastern city where an attacker stabbed and nearly killed him during his 2018 campaign -- cementing his image in the minds of die-hard supporters as their "Messias," or Messiah, his middle name.

"This is where I was reborn... This is where the creator saved my life so I could give my best for our nation as president," an emotional Bolsonaro told cheering supporters packed into the street where he was stabbed by a man later deemed mentally unfit to stand trial.

Hitting hard on the themes of Christianity and family values, Bolsonaro acknowledged Brazil's "serious problems." But the ex-army captain called himself the best candidate to lead the country, warning his opponent's return would be a "step backwards" and usher in "communism" and "gender ideology."

Bolsonaro's image as a savior swooping in to rough up the political establishment has suffered as he has lurched through a series of crises, from the coronavirus pandemic -- which he insistently downplayed, even as Brazil's death toll surged -- to soaring inflation that is hurting Brazilian families.

The president drew his loudest cheers when he handed the mic to beaming, telegenic First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro, a devout Evangelical Christian who led the crowd in prayer and took her own digs at Lula.

"Our enemy just wants to steal, deceive and destroy," she said, to chants of "Lula, thief, you belong in jail!"

Draped in the Brazilian flag, 50-year-old teacher Jaqueline Lopes said she was voting for Bolsonaro to "continue the clean-up that started four years ago."

"I want the left to be eradicated from this country," said Lopes, who made the three-hour drive from Rio de Janeiro to attend the rally.

- 'Bogus, genocidal president' -

Lula meanwhile launched his campaign with a visit to a Volkswagen plant in Sao Bernardo do Campo, the industrial heartland of Sao Paulo state where the 76-year-old launched his political career as a union leader in the 1970s.

"I'm returning so we can take our country back," he said in his trademark gravelly voice, riling up the crowd with a fiery speech.

Slamming Bolsonaro as a "bogus, genocidal president," he condemned the "lies" he said the incumbent's camp was spreading about him in a bid to win the powerful Evangelical vote -- an estimated 31 percent of Brazil's 213 million people.

"If anyone is possessed by the devil, it's Bolsonaro," he said.

Lula currently leads with 44 percent of the vote to 32 percent for Bolsonaro, according to the latest poll from the Ipec institute, published Monday.

If no candidate wins more than 50 percent of valid votes in the October 2 election, a runoff will be held on October 30.

Brazil has been torn in a two-way race since March last year, when the Supreme Court annulled a controversial corruption conviction that had sent Lula to jail and sidelined him from politics.

The ex-president (2003-2010) left office as the most popular leader in Brazilian history, after presiding over an economic boom that helped lift some 30 million people from poverty.

But he fell spectacularly from grace when he was convicted in Brazil's sprawling "Car Wash" scandal.

Lula, who denies wrongdoing, calls the case a trumped-up bid to topple his legacy -- which he is now clearly out to restore.

"Lula is the Brazilian people's hope for a better life," said 48-year-old welder Mauricio Souza, who was at the leftist's rally belting out songs on his trumpet.

Many Brazilians fear if Bolsonaro loses he will follow in the footsteps of his political role model, former US president Donald Trump, and try to fight the result.

Bolsonaro, who regularly blasts alleged fraud in Brazil's electronic voting system -- without evidence -- is fond of saying "only God" can remove him from office.

J.P.Estrada--TFWP