January 20, 2019

Brazil Elects 'Proud Homophobe' Jair Bolsonaro As President

03 November 2018, 10:30 | Ross Houston

Brazilian Presidential Candidate Jair Bolsonaro Stabbed at Campaign Event

Presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro grimaces right after being stabbed in the stomach during a campaign rally in Juiz de Fora Brazil Thursday Sept. 6 2018

Brazil's far-right president-elect, Jair Bolsonaro, has reaffirmed his defence of his country's brutal 21-year dictatorship and rejected claims that he is a fascist, instead painting himself as a Churchillian patriot determined to lead his crisis-stricken country "out of this quagmire".

Hundreds of Brazilians, mostly students, Tuesday protested in several cities against Bolsonaro's future plans and demanded that he respect democracy during his term in office.

Bolsonaro rode the nationalist far-right wave that has been sweeping over much of the world to defeat the man picked to stand in for Lula, Fernando Haddad. The previous left-wing party, the Working Party, was met with public disdain.

The former army captain huddled with his inner circle at the home of a wealthy backer in Rio de Janeiro to start forming what advisor Gustavo Bebianno called "a combat vanguard" for the new administration.

The guilty verdict was upheld on appeal and Brazil's Supreme Court has rejected numerous requests to free the former president, universally known as Lula.

In the run-up to the election, Bolsonaro, whose first foreign visits would be to Chile, Israel and the United States - that according to him "share our worldview" - has said: "The future ministry will come from the productive sector".

But to effectively lead the opposition, the PT may have to give up or tone down its fight to free Lula, which has consumed an huge amount of its political resources.

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While numerous Latin American country's marginalized communities have questioned what Bolsonaro's leadership could mean for them, Brazil's LGBTQ population is particularly concerned.

Once the vanguard of the left, its prestige is badly tarnished.

May Boeve, executive director at climate NGO, warned that a Bolsonaro presidency posed "a real threat to human rights at home and a risk to the momentum for climate action overseas".

Echoing Vergolino, Erika Hilton, the transgender member of the so-called Activist Caucus, said many Bolsonaro voters were "manipulated" by misleading information and do not agree with some of his extreme rhetoric about gay people. The party became synonymous with the web of corruption that still plagues Brazil.

One area where Bolsonaro can act immediately, however, is on indigenous rights. However, Bosch's CEO in Brazil, Wolfram Anders, sees the positive stock market move as speculative, not sustainable.

"The PT isn't a homogeneous party".

Bolsonaro's punchy, bare-bones campaign mirrored Trump's playbook as the Brazilian vowed to crush crime, railed against media coverage, embraced Christian identity and shifted tone sharply from previous leaders' celebration of ethnic diversity.

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