Author: Henry

Fernando Haddad and Jair Bolsonaro Are Different Faces of the Same Brazilian Political Party

Fernando Haddad and Jair Bolsonaro Are Different Faces of the Same Brazilian Political Party

Brazil’s Lula and Bolsonaro are about to face off again. What you need to know

Brazil’s two presidential candidates, Fernando Haddad and Jair Bolsonaro, take part in a joint debate in Juiz de Fora, Brazil, Friday, March 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

Brazil’s voters are going to decide between two possible presidential tickets. What does that really mean?

Fernando Haddad and Jair Bolsonaro

Fernando Haddad and Jair Bolsonaro are different faces of the same Brazilian political party.

The two candidates are polar opposites. Haddad is an old centrist who favors free and fair elections. He is the son of a former president and the brother-in-law of a former military ruler, and has lived in the center-right for decades. Bolsonaro, by contrast, is a far-right populist who has no political experience. He was elected to the first chamber of Brazil’s congress in Brazil’s first free election in a quarter-century in 2018, but since then he has been embroiled in more than a dozen scandals.

When they squared off at a debate two weeks ago, the two men debated their respective personal lives and, ultimately, their shared ideological positions, while attempting to answer voters’ questions and avoid controversy.

Why this is important

In Brazil, presidential contests are held by party primaries, and voters pick their respective candidates. If a candidate wins the primary, he or she goes on to compete in a general election.

Bolsonaro’s campaign has been mired in controversy since he won the primary, with his critics calling him a bigot and a demagogue, his supporters making excuses, and the media calling its verdict on him a free-for-all.

But in the face of a possible defeat at the hands of a more experienced rival, Bolsonaro might take his chances in November. Haddad’s supporters say he will not go down that way. In fact, Haddad has already promised to hold a peaceful election if he’s defeated by Bolsonaro in the primaries.

In a country where two-thirds of the population votes for a winner in presidential elections, there will be few surprises when Bolsonaro’s party kicks off its campaign.

What to watch for

There are a few things

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