Brazil: Lula and Bolsonaro launch their campaign in symbolic places

Brazil: Lula and Bolsonaro launch their campaign in symbolic places

According to a latest poll, former President Lula is given the lead with 44% of voting intentions.

The two favorites for the Brazilian presidential election, Lula and Jair Bolsonaro, officially launch their campaign on Tuesday in places that have deeply marked their political career, less than 50 days from a very polarized ballot.

Favorite in the polls, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, 76, will visit a Volkswagen factory in the afternoon in his stronghold of Sao Bernardo do Campo, near Sao Paulo (southeast), an industrial zone where he was turner-miller, before becoming a union leader.

President Bolsonaro will travel to Juiz de Fora, in Minas Gerais (southeast), where he had been close to death in an attack on the #x27;stabbing weapon four years ago.

The former army captain, 67, wanted to push the symbolism down to the smallest detail: he will deliver his speech at midday on a platform set up on the same crossroads where he had been stabbed by an imbalance on September 6, 2018.

Security around the main candidates in the election whose first round will take place on October 2 has been considerably reinforced to avoid any incident.

Lula and Bolsonaro no longer travel without bulletproof vests and crowds are strictly controlled.

The left-wing ex-president should have launched his campaign on Tuesday morning at another factory in Sao Paulo, but the event was canceled, the his security team having identified risks, according to Brazilian media.

The visit to Sao Bernardo do Campo is no less emblematic. Lula has always gone there during key moments in his political career, to reinforce his image as a representative of workers, Adriano Laureno, a political analyst at the consultancy firm Prospectiva, told AFP.

As for Bolsonaro, he wants to present himself as ''chosen of God'' who survived the 2018 attack, continues this specialist, for whom this election is the most polarized since the redemocratization after the military dictatorship (1964-1985).

The two favorites have already been crisscrossing the country for several weeks to contact voters, but the official campaign, with public meetings and distribution of leaflets, is only authorized from this Tuesday.

TV spots will only air from August 26th.

This Tuesday will also be marked in the early evening by the enthronement of Judge Alexandre de Moraes as President of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE).

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and his wife Michelle Bolsonaro at the 'March for Jesus' event in Rio de Janeiro on August 13.

This Supreme Court magistrate is one of President Bolsonaro's pet peeves, against whom he ordered the opening of an investigation for disseminating false information on the electoral system.

The Head of State has constantly questioned the reliability of the electronic ballot boxes used in the country since 1996, citing fraud without ever providing evidence. Attacks that raise fears that he will not recognize the result of the ballot in the event of defeat.

Lula and Bolsonaro have both been invited to the investiture of Judge Moraes and could therefore end this first official day of campaigning together at the TSE headquarters in Brasilia.

Monday evening, a poll by the Ipec institute gave a comfortable advantage to the former president on the left, with 44% of the voting intentions in the first round, against 32% for the current head of state.

At the end of July, an opinion poll by the other reference institute, Datafolha, reported a larger gap: 47% for Lula, 29% for Bolsonaro.

The Head of State intends to catch up thanks to the social aid recently approved by Parliament during a controversial amendment to the Constitution which exceptionally authorizes new expenditure during the electoral period.

He played his trump card by putting his wife, Michelle Bolsonaro, in the spotlight, who wowed the evangelical electorate with fiery speeches resembling the sermons of pastor.

The president also targeted young people by giving a more than five-hour interview to a popular podcast that has been watched by more than half a million people.

Lula is also trying to rejuvenate his image to regain ground on social networks, where he is far behind Bolsonaro in terms of subscribers.

Supported by many artists, such as pop star Anitta, the former metalworker does not hesitate to publish humorous videos on Tik Tok, the network that is all the rage among young people.

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