Author: Eric

The Elections of the Americas

The Elections of the Americas

Guns, God and fake news dominate Brazil’s presidential race

An official in Jair Bolsonaro’s leftist Workers party, which is leading in opinion polls, said on Friday that he and the party would “use any means” to prevent fraud in Sunday’s election. Photo: AFP

AUSTRALIA – It was a night nobody thought they would ever see in the Americas – a night in which no candidate could be sure they would win the presidency, but a night that was certain to be dominated by an election that had a strong whiff of farce to it.

After three days of voting in five countries, two more parties had declared victory. In Brazil, where the first round of voting just ended, the right was ahead, with the Workers party of former presidential candidate Aécio Neves the largest single party. The second round of voting is scheduled for Sunday.

In a country that’s been ruled by its military since 1964, one of the last major elections to have the military vote – in Brazil’s presidential race in 1988 – the vote took a bizarre turn. With the death or suspension of the candidate of the governing party, the ruling party had to use a new technique.

Venezuela’s Juan Guaidó, who had led protests for several months, was declared the winner of the March 30 vote after his opposition claimed fraud in the election.

In the United States, where there were several candidates on the ballot for president, the Democrats opted for former vice-president Joe Biden, who was seen as the best choice of a field that included several anti-establishment candidates, and a third candidate was deemed unsuitable due to health concerns.

In the other countries – Mexico and Canada – two of the candidates were nominated by the winning party. In the former, the party was the ruling one, and in the latter, the other party had nominated its candidate. In El Salvador, Venezuela and Peru, the candidates of the winning parties were elected. In Mexico, the ruling party, led by President-for-Life Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, won its second presidential election in a row.

“We have to show that democracy can work. A vote for any other party would be a step back into the past,” said the left-wing mayor of Curitiba, who is in a tight race with right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro

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