Aug 11, 2017 @ 17:20

by: Sebastian Smith / Agence France-Presse

Jair Bolsonaro, a controversial politician usually in comparison with Donald Trump and arduous right French chief Marine Le Pen, on Thursday declared himself the “patriot” Brazil wants.

Although official campaigning isn’t but permitted for the October 2018 presidential polls, Bolsonaro referred to as a campaign-like press convention at a Rio lodge to put out his deeply conservative imaginative and prescient and mock his liberal critics.

The former military paratrooper mentioned he’s the reply to Brazil’s rampant corruption, crime and financial malaise — “an honest president, a patriot, who has green and yellow (the national flag’s colors) in his blood and Jesus in his heart.”

Fervent in his opposition to abortion and homosexual rights, in addition to help for gun possession and an aggressive army, the congressman is Brazil’s model of nationalist, conservative politicians gaining prominence all over the world.

Opponents condemn Bolsonaro as racist, homophobic and an apologist for torture throughout the twenty years lengthy army dictatorship that led to Brazil in 1985.

However, the 62-year-old is not any fringe politician. With Brazil mired in issues, his message of toughness and an finish to enterprise as standard is putting a chord.

He received extra votes than another congressman from Rio de Janeiro state within the final basic elections in 2014.

And after steadily rising in opinion polls, he now lies tied in second place for the presidency in 2018, behind leftist former two time period president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

– Rape barb, torture reward –

An enormous promoting level for Bolsonaro is that he’s one of many few high politicians in Brazil to not have been accused of corruption within the “Car Wash” anti-graft investigation.

To identify simply two high-profile targets, present center-right President Michel Temer faces a bribery charge, whereas Lula has been convicted of bribe taking and faces a number of trials.

Last week, Congress voted overwhelmingly to spare Temer from having to go to trial, including to public disgust. Bolsonaro, one of many congress members who voted in opposition to Temer, referred to as corruption Brazil’s “cancer.”

While a longtime congressman is hardly a political outsider, Bolsonaro has succeeded in portray himself as somebody “outside the traditional political elite,” mentioned David Fleischer, professor emeritus at Brasilia University.

Opponents describe Bolsonaro’s radical positions as a hazard to democracy.

He drew gasps from many in Brazil final 12 months when he voted to take away leftist president Dilma Rousseff from workplace in an impeachment process and devoted the vote to a infamous colonel from the dictatorship by which Rousseff was herself tortured.

“The terror of Dilma Rousseff,” Bolsonaro crowed on the ground of the House.

His outbursts additionally embrace telling a leftist congresswoman that she didn’t “deserve” to be raped and proclaiming he’d moderately his son be killed than homosexual.

But on Thursday he solely revelled in his fame.

“I’m not the ugly duckling — I’m the horrible duckling,” he joked.

– President Bolsonaro? –

Lula leads in all eventualities for 2018, in accordance with a June ballot by the revered Datafolha institute, with Bolsonaro and former 2014 presidential candidate, the environmentalist Marina Silva, coming second equal.

Although Lula is forward, he has by far the very best rejection price at 46 p.c and in any case could also be barred from operating due to his bribery conviction.

For all his incendiary remarks, Bolsonaro’s personal rejection score is 30 p.c.

It’s nonetheless far too early to make predictions in regards to the elections. The nation’s division between extremes of Lula on the left and Bolsonaro on the right partly displays the truth that a convincing centrist has but to take up the problem.

What’s certain is that Bolsonaro is severe, managing to combine his excessive feedback with a “mellow and laid back” type that odd voters like, Fleischer mentioned.

“He has a good delivery, a good art of conversation with people,” Fleischer mentioned.

One signal of that widespread contact? His Facebook web page has over four.5 million likes, way over Lula’s three million and Silva’s 2.three million.

And on Thursday he introduced plans to alter his awkwardly — and moderately bizarrely — named National Ecological Party to one thing far more catchy: the Patriota occasion.(AFP)