'Tense' Brazil Presidential Election Appears Headed for Runoff

As the votes are tallied in Brazil’s presidential election that took place on Sunday, it appears that it will head for a runoff in late October.

As Time reports:


Brazilian voters backed Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, a left-wing former President, over the incumbent and right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro by a narrow margin in the first round of elections on Sunday. With 97% of the vote counted, Lula—as the former President is universally known—got 47.9% of the vote to Bolsonaro’s 43.7%.

Because neither candidate won a majority, the contest will go to a run-off on Oct. 30.

For most of 2022, polls had suggested no candidate would win more than 50% of the vote and the contest would go to a second round—as has happened in all of Brazil’s elections for the last two decades.

You can get a sense of the tensions surrounding the election in these details from CNBC:

There were reports of long lines at voting stations that closed at 5 p.m (2000 GMT) as many Brazilians turned out to vote in a tense election.

Military police in Sao Paulo said a man entered a voting station and fired at two police officers who were receiving medical attention.

Although he ended his 2003-2010 government with record popularity, Lula is now loathed by many Brazilians after he was convicted of accepting bribes. The leftist, who was president from 2003 to 2010, was jailed during the last election. But his conviction was later overturned by the Supreme Court, allowing him to face his rival Bolsonaro this year.


CNBC also shared this on the incumbent conservative Pres. Bolsonaro:

Bolsonaro voted in Rio, and said he expected to win the election in Sunday’s first round, despite his poor showing in surveys. The former army captain does not trust the pollsters, saying their results do not correspond with the support at his campaign events.

Earlier in 2022, Lula sat down for an interview, in which he made a comparison between himself and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady.


“In American football, there is a player—as it happens he’s ended up with a Brazilian model,” he said, referring to Tom Brady and his wife Gisele Bündchen. “He’s been the best player in the world for a long time, but in each game, his fans demand that he plays better than he did in the last one. For me, with the presidency, it’s the same thing. I am only running because I can do better than I did before.”


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