Fears Rise Over Brazilian Election After Bolsonaro Ally Attacks Police With Rifle and Grenades

Jair Bolsonaro and Lula da Silva

By Democracy Now

HAVANA TIMES – Voters in Brazil head to the polls Sunday for a runoff election that pits far-right President Jair Bolsonaro against former leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Polls have shown Lula with a slender but consistent lead. Ahead of the vote, Bolsonaro’s son, Rio state senator Flávio Bolsonaro, claimed his father was the victim of “the greatest electoral fraud ever seen.” Attempts by the Bolsonaro family and their allies to sow doubt over the election have added to fears that Bolsonaro will attempt to stage a coup d’état if he loses.

Those concerns grew this week after authorities in Rio de Janeiro charged a former congressmember and Bolsonaro ally with attempted murder, after he attacked Federal Police officers with a rifle and a grenade as they sought to arrest him on Sunday. Bolsonaro has since tried to distance himself from the former congressmember, Roberto Jefferson, even though several photographs taken in 2020 show the pair laughing and smiling together.

Meanwhile environmentalists fear what a Bolsonaro victory could mean for the climate crisis.

Marcio Astrini: “What Brazilians do now at the polls is much more than a change of president. These are fundamental choices for our country, choices for the future. We will choose whether we stay with democracy or not, we will have to choose If we keep the Amazon alive or if we keep Bolsonaro. It’s a choice between the two. It’s not going to be possible to have both at the same time.”

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