Friday 14 December 2018

Far-right candidate leads Brazilian presidential race

The initial results show Jair Bolsonaro getting more votes than polls in recent weeks indicated.

Presidential frontrunner Jair Bolsonaro says he wants to stamp out corruption (Silvia Izquierdo/AP)
Presidential frontrunner Jair Bolsonaro says he wants to stamp out corruption (Silvia Izquierdo/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

Far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro is leading the Brazilian presidential race with 49% of votes, initial results show.

With 79% of ballots counted, Fernando Haddad from the Workers’ Party was in second place with 26%.

If no candidate gets 50%, there will be a run-off on October 28.

ipanews_2b9a663e-3aca-40eb-9969-d05a05a8920d_embedded238995262
Workers’ Party presidential candidate Fernando Haddad flashes a V-sign after casting his vote (Andre Penner/AP)

The initial results show Mr Bolsonaro getting more votes than polls in recent weeks indicated, which put his support in the high-30s.

Mr Bolsonaro, a former army captain, has run on a platform of promises to crack down on violence and rid South America’s largest nation of endemic corruption.

But Brazil’s electoral court is investigating images that went viral on social media of supporters of Mr Bolsonaro bringing guns to polling stations.

One image shows a gun on the top of the electronic voting machine and Mr Bolsonaro’s face on the screen in a school in Sao Joao de Meriti, outside Rio de Janeiro.

Another shows a voter using his gun to press buttons in the machine to vote for Mr Bolsonaro in the southern Brazilian city of Cachoeiro do Sul.

The two images quickly spread in WhatsApp groups, which are heavily used by Bolsonaro supporters to spread their messages. Guns are not allowed in polling stations in Brazil.

Press Association

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News