On October 2, the first round of presidential elections took place in Brazil, which is already being called a decisive event for the entire political system of the country. The second round is scheduled for October 30.
The return of former Brazilian President Inacio Lula da Silva after a corruption scandal has significantly raised the stakes in the current presidential race. Prior to this, the current president of the country, Jair Bolsonaro, who is running for a second term, had no serious opponents. Despite the fact that 11 candidates competed for the presidency, including proponents of the so-called “third way” — a course different from the policies of the centre-left led by Lula and the extreme right led by Bolsonaro — the former and current presidents made it to the second round with 48% and 43% respectively.
Some experts say that Bolsonaro’s presidency has become a period of political and economic regression for Brazil. These sentiments were prompted by Bolsonaro’s unpopular decisions during the pandemic (when Brazil became one of the top three countries in terms of coronavirus incidence and mortality), a decrease in the living standards of the poorest segments of the population, numerous cases of corruption involving members of the president’s family, as well as a decrease in Brazil’s activity in the international arena. However, Bolsonaro still retains popularity among Brazilians.
During Lula da Silva’s presidency (2003-2010), the government’s priorities were not only to eradicate hunger and reduce the number of poor people, but also to establish Brazil as one of the leaders of the Global South. Today, Lula is betting on these points again in his election campaign, which largely ensured his victory in the first round and participation in the second round of elections.
What do the results of the first round of elections testify to? Which of the candidates will be able to win the elections and by what margin? Should we expect the activation of Brazil in the international arena? How will relations between Russia and Brazil change after the elections? Participants of the expert discussion answered these and other questions.