After the first round of Brazil’s presidential elections, the two leading candidates, former President Lula da Silva and far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro, will now face a run-off vote. While neither candidate has secured enough votes to win the presidency outright, the numbers show that both are able to garner enough support to move on to the second round.
The election’s results are not surprising. In Sao Paulo, Bolsonaro won a key race and is now strengthening his lead in the run-off. But many observers believe a Lula victory would not be enough to defeat Bolsonaro.
In the run-off, both candidates must win a minimum of 50 percent of the vote in order to advance to the second round. Lula da Silva was president of Brazil from 2003 to 2010, and was a hero to many Brazilians. However, he was also caught in a wide-ranging corruption scandal and spent a year in jail. He was released from prison in 2019 on a technicality and launched his presidential campaign. After defeating Bolsonaro in the first round, he finished second, but has lost support due to his erratic behavior.
Both candidates have questioned the integrity of Brazil’s election process. The democratic institutions in Brazil have responded by raising public awareness and restoring public confidence. The United States and international community have re-committed to Brazil’s electoral process, and the Electoral Superior Court has brought in international observers to monitor the results.