Brazil's election process is fraught with difficulty

While Lula presents himself as the candidate for reconstruction, Bolsonaro is increasingly moving to the right. A high abstention rate is expected.

Brazil's election process is fraught with difficulty
The electoral process in Brazil may be somewhat complicated. Credit: UNAM

The next election in Brazil is undoubtedly the most difficult "because there are new aspects with constant political violence, harassment and polarization, as well as a clear division of Brazilian society," said the internationalist and PhD in Political Science, Roberto Goulart Menezes, from the University of Brasilia.

On Sunday, October 2, elections will be held to elect the president, vice president, National Congress, state governors and vice governors, as well as the Legislative Chamber of the Federal District of Brazil. In case, not all the positions are defined in the first round, the election considers a second round to be held on Sunday, October 30 throughout the nation.

Although there are ten candidates, the direct confrontation will be between those who lead the electoral preferences: the current president, Jair Bolsonaro, ex-military and representative of the Liberal Party (PL), identified with the ultra-right; and the former president on two occasions, Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva, of the Workers' Party (PT), supported by the left and who will dispute for the sixth time the presidential elections.

Goulart Menezes participated in the hybrid format conversation "Elections in Brazil: situation and perspective," organized by UNAM's Center for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CIALC). The event, held in the Leopoldo Zea auditorium of this academic institution, was moderated by José Briceño Ruiz and commented on by Regina Crespo Franzoni, both from CIALC.

The expert said that a high level of abstentionism is expected since a wide sector of the population does not believe in politics as an instrument of social transformation. According to data from the Superior Electoral Court of that country, the South American nation will have 148 million voters for the elections, a figure that places it as the second largest democracy in the western hemisphere and one of the largest in the world.

In addressing voting intentions, the Brazilian researcher said that Lula leads electoral preferences with 44 percent, followed by Bolsonaro with 32 percent; Ciro Gomes (of the Democratic Labor Party), six percent; Simone Tebet (of the Brazilian Democratic Movement), with two percent; and Vera Lúcia Salgado (of the Unified Socialist Workers Party), with one percent.

The other five presidential candidates, who do not appear in the voting preferences, are Felipe D'Avila (of the New Association); Soraya Thronicke (of Union Brazil); José Maria Eymael (of Christian Democracy); Léo Péricles (of Popular Unity); and Sofia Manzano (of the Brazilian Communist Party).

In a simulation of the second round, the internationalist predicted that Lula would receive 51% of the votes, Bolsonaro would receive 35%, and the remaining 14% is uncertain. Brazil has 220 million inhabitants and about 152 million voters. It is divided into 26 states and a Federal District, where electoral preferences are grouped by regions.

Lula attends the events with bulletproof vests because the polarization is such that the possibility of an attempt against him is considered, which is why the police surveillance towards him is at the highest level. While Lula presents himself as the candidate of reconstruction, Bolsonaro is increasingly moving to the right, where he is accumulating a significant number of followers.