Bolsonaro silent after Brazil presidential vote loss
MICHELO VIEIRAAssociated Press
Rio de Janeiro — The moment Brazilians feared had arrived on the world stage was finally here — and the shock wave rolled across the nation like a tidal wave sweeping a forest.
A smiling far left-wing president who had promised to bring a new Brazil into the 21st century was trounced by his right-leaning opponent. A man of his word, Dilma Rousseff, who had promised to lead the country toward economic recovery and stability, was the victor of a campaign that had pitted her against Jair Bolsonaro, an unapologetic nationalist and social conservative who claimed to represent the hopes of the poor and the nation’s marginalized underclass. The win sends a clear message to Brazil’s political leaders. They will have to govern differently if they want to maintain power — and avoid the fate befalling Venezuela.
In Brazil’s first election since the U.S. lifted the sanctions against the country, the left appeared to have come out on top and the right’s supporters were outraged. The result was a dramatic shift in Brazil’s politics, and a major defeat for global efforts to lift the fortunes of the world’s largest democracy.
“All over the world we have seen so many elections like this, where a party or a person wins the popular vote but loses in the first round of counting,” said Eduardo Giannini, president of the Brazilian Academy of Letters. “It certainly wasn’t so in Brazil.”
The result, in a nation of 210 million people, was one of the most surprising in recent Brazilian history, with Bolsonaro getting 44 percent of the vote, while Rousseff won 28 percent.
The election has stunned Brazil’s politics and political class, a group that had largely taken a back seat during Rousseff’s six-year presidency. Her popularity was boosted by social programs and economic growth, and she was ahead in the polls for a long time ahead of the vote. The result, in a nation of 210 million people, was one of the most surprising in recent Brazilian history, with Bolson