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Decisive and historic elections in Brazil. Photo: Pixabay.

In the midst of heated debate Lula and Bolsonaro continue in their dispute for the presidency

Brazil is closely following these two candidates who will contest the second round in two weeks.

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After the last television meeting between the two candidates for the presidency, marked by intense confrontations and insults included, and by the absence of a lectern, the personal attacks were more relevant than the true political proposals for their country.

Pandemic and corruption

While Bolsonaro attacked Lula by reminding him of the corruption in the Workers' Party (PT), especially during the governments of 2003 through 2016, Lula replied by questioning the management carried out by the current government in the face of the pandemic, the economic situation of the lower classes, and the destruction, even with a permissive attitude, of the Amazon.

“You delayed the vaccine. And the hard fact is that your negligence caused the deaths of 680,000 people when more than half could have been saved. In the history of any government in the world, there is no one who has played with the pandemic and with death as you did. You are the king of fake news, you are the king of stupidity, of lying to Brazilian society. He lied the whole time about the vaccine; he neglected the vaccine,” Lula told Bolsonaro.

Likewise, Bolsonaro highlighted the episode presented in the Lula government with Petrobras (the Brazilian oil company), in which they appropriated nearly $18 billion (90,000 million reales), even going so far as to say that “Lula pu the money on his butt and shared it with his friends.”

For his part, Lula acknowledged the corrupt acts in the state oil company and assured that everything was discovered thanks to the transparency of his Administration.

Questioned relationships

Bolsonaro also took advantage of the unusual debate to point out Lula's rapprochement with some questioned governments in the region, such as that of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, and that of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela.

Likewise, the current president, who dedicated a special section of his speech to questioning the closure of churches and the media in Nicaragua, also criticized Lula's links with the presidents of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, and Argentina, Alberto Fernández, to who Bolsonaro calls communists.

Lula, for his part, responded that the political situation in Nicaragua and Venezuela is up to Nicaraguans to resolve, as well as Venezuelans, but he stressed that if Ortega or Maduro are making a mistake, their peoples should punish them.

Insult Fest

In a debate considered by many to be too free, personal attacks and insults stole much of the attention.

“Little dictator,” “liar,” and “cheek” were some of the names used by Lula to refer to Bolsonaro in the middle of the debate, while the latter referred to the former president as a “thief” and a “national shame.”

For its part, one of the most tense moments of the debate, broadcast by Bandeirantes Television, occurred when the current head of state put his hand on Lula's shoulder after an ironic comment by the former trade unionist.

The second round will be held next October 30. In the first round of the elections, Lula was the candidate with the most votes, with 48.4%, compared to 43.2% of the votes obtained by Bolsonaro.

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