Trump tells Brazilians to vote for ‘great and highly respected’ President Jair Bolsonaro as right-wing populist faces runoff election: Ex-US president says ‘Radical Left Lunatics’ would ‘destroy Brazil’
- Donald Trump has weighed in on Brazil’s presidential election multiple times
- He and its president Jair Bolsonaro regard each other as staunch allies
- Bolsonaro rose to international prominence as ‘Trump of the Tropics’
- Voters in Brazil are deciding now whether to re-elect him or former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a leader of the left-wing Worker’s Party
- Da Silva came out slightly ahead of Bolsonaro in their first race though they advanced to a runoff because neither clinched the 50% threshold
Donald Trump urged Brazilian voters on Sunday to re-elect President Jair Bolsonaro, as polls open for the fourth-largest democracy’s contentious runoff election.
More than 120 million people are expected to cast ballots for either Bolsonaro, a right-wing populist, or former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a founding member of the left-wing Worker’s Party.
The candidates advanced to a second electoral round after neither netted 50 percent of the vote in their initial race on October 2 – though da Silva came out ahead of Bolsonaro by four points.
Trump, a staunch ally of Bolsonaro’s, wrote on his Truth Social app in the early hours of Sunday morning: ‘To the People of Brazil, this is your big day, and also, a big day for the World.’
‘Your GREAT and Highly Respected President, Jair Bolsonaro, needs you to get out and Vote, TODAY, so that your Country can continue on its incredible path of success,’ the former US president went on.
‘Don’t let the Radical Left Lunatics & Maniacs destroy Brazil like they have so many other countries.
‘President Bolsonaro has done a fantastic job, has my Complete and Total Endorsement, and deserves your VOTE. He will NEVER let you down!!!’
Donald Trump has waded into Brazil’s contentious presidential race multiple times to bolster his ally, Jair Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro rose to prominence in 2018 by embracing the label ‘Trump of the Tropics’
Trump posted on his social media platform Truth Social in the early hours of Sunday morning
During his rise to power in 2018, Bolsonaro embraced his label of ‘Tropical Trump’ for his brash and bombastic public stances, as well as his rise to power on a wave of anti-establishment anger.
Both made attacking the media as part of their brand, promoted similar fake remedies for COVID-19 and prized projecting a strongman image to the world.
And on Sunday, voters in Brazil are deciding between four more years of Bolsonaro’s far-right governing or whether to vote for a former two-time president whose administration was plagued with corruption scandals.
Bolsonaro and da Silva are both polarizing figures in Brazil.
Bolsonaro, who has touted himself as a Christian nationalist, has presided over a surge of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest that environmentalists say could have harmful, irreversible impacts on climate change.
On his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, his country’s Senate accused Bolsonaro of ‘crimes against humanity.’
He urged Brazilians to vote against the left-wing candidate, popular former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (pictured casting his vote on October 30)
Bolsonaro’s allies have espoused doubts about the electoral count, not dissimilar from Trump’s circle in 2020, and it’s not clear if the Brazilian president will accept the results if he loses
He’s also openly expressed anti-LGBTQ views and promoted election fraud conspiracy theories not dissimilar to Trump’s.
After the first round of elections earlier this month, Bolsonaro wrote on Twitter that he had a better turnout in 2022 than 2018, and that he had ‘never lost an election’ and that ‘God’ would not let him lose one now.
It’s also not clear if Bolsonaro would accept the results of the election if he loses.
On Saturday night, the former military officer shared a video of Trump telling Brazilians to go vote.
‘Other leaders I can tell you, including myself, respect him at the highest level,’ Trump said. ‘He’s bringing it back like nobody could.’
Echoing themes he expressed to his own supporters of global status and ‘respect,’ Trump went on: ‘Brazil is taking a whole new place in the world. You’re being respected all over the world, because of your president.’
‘Don’t lose him, don’t let that happen, it would not be good for your country, and I love your country, but it would not be good,’ the ex-US president said.
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