Brazil elections: Far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro wins presidency

Brazil elections: Far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro wins presidency

Brazil elections: Far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro wins presidency

Bolsonaro won 46 percent of the vote and Haddad collected 28 percent in the country's general election earlier this month, forcing a runoff as no candidate won at least 50 percent of the vote. He's now been announced as the president-elect. The highly charged campaign has also led to divisions between family and friends thanks to two dramatically different candidates, Jair Bolsonaro and Fernando Haddad, facing off in the last round.

Bolsonaro achieved an expected victory over his socialist opponent Fernando Haddad with around 55 percent of the vote, sparking political debate around the world.

The runner-up has vowed to "defend freedoms" of president-elect's opponents.

"President Jair Bolsonaro. I wish you success". In March, Marielle Franco, a lesbian city councilor in Rio de Janeiro, was shot and killed.

"Fascists!" shouted tearful supporters at the headquarters of Haddad's Workers' Party in Sao Paulo. "God bless Brazil and its new government!"

As well as tackling violent crime, Bolsonaro has pledged to push for the prosecution of the dozens of left-wing politicians involved in the country's "Operation Car Wash" corruption scandal that saw billions of pounds stolen from the public budget. The people have spoken.

Thousands of supporters flooded the streets outside his home in Rio de Janeiro, waving Brazilian flags and lighting up the sky with fireworks.

Outgoing President Michel Temer, himself implicated in corruption, is set to leave office on January 1 as the most unpopular president in Brazil's modern democracy.

In his victory speech, broadcast via Facebook, he vowed to to "change Brazil's destiny together".

He once told a congresswoman that she did not deserve to be raped because she was "very ugly", Brazil's TV Globo reported. In particular, many Brazilians were furious with the Workers' Party for its role in the graft scheme known as "Carwash".

Haddad is standing as a surrogate for jailed ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who led Brazil through the boom years of 2003 to 2010. Lula himself is serving a 12-year prison term.

As NPR's Philip Reeves reports, "This is the biggest change in the political landscape of Brazil since the end of military dictatorship in 1985".

A staunchly anti-gay right-wing politician is slated to become the next president of the largest and most populous nation in Latin America.

"I don't really like either candidate", Elias Chaim, 23, an engineering student and music producer, told AFP at a polling station facing Rio's Copacabana beach.

As late as Sunday morning, Haddad was still holding out hope that he could win after several key endorsements late Saturday.

In Sao Paulo, the economic capital, Marcos Kotait, 40, a publicist, said he had "never seen such a polarized election" as he waited to cast his ballot.

Many business people support Bolsonaro's free market economic positions, which would stimulate growth by privatizing state-owned enterprises, reduce regulations, and making it easier for foreign investors to enter the Brazilian market.

Critics of Mr Bolsonaro are anxious that the former army captain, who has expressed nostalgia for the years Brazil was under military rule, may curtail citizens' freedoms and undermine Brazil's constitution.

He promised to clean up politics, shrink the state and crack down on crime.

The center-right leader took over from Lula's successor, Dilma Rousseff, after she was impeached in 2016 for financial wrongdoing in office, ending the Workers' Party's 13 years in power.

One of the most important endorsements, particularly for young people, came from Youtuber Felipe Neto, whose channel has almost 27 million followers.

The results are expected around 2300 GMT.

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