Presidential elections in Brazil polling stations close duel Lula Bolsonaro

Presidential elections in Brazil: polling stations close, duel Lula Bolsonaro is about to be decided

Former left-wing President Lula is the favorite against outgoing far-right President Jair Bolsonaro. Voting went smoothly.

Polling stations closed at 10pm French time this Sunday as Brazilians crowded the polling stations on Sunday for an election in which incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro is threatening to contest the result and his left-wing opponent Lula is hoping in the first win round.

“If the elections are clean, no problem. May the best win!” declared the far-right head of state during the morning vote in Rio de Janeiro.

Annoyed by the insistent questions from the press, Bolsonaro, in the national soccer team’s yellow and green jersey under which he wore a bulletproof vest, did not want to make it clear whether he would accept the result of the poll.

Find a “land at peace”

Former leftist President (2003-2010) Luiz InĂ¡cio Lula da Silva recently voted in Sao Bernardo do Campo, a working-class suburb of Sao Paulo.

“For me, this is the most important election,” said the former steelworker, who is in his sixth presidential race 12 years after stepping down from power with a stratospheric popularity rating (87%) to seek a third term.

“We don’t want any more hate or discord. We want a peaceful country,” he said, referring to the fractures in a very polarized Brazil of 214 million people.

In the afternoon, the queues outside the polling stations lengthened, and voters, often dressed in Bolsonarian yellow and green or Lulistan red, sometimes had to wait more than an hour because of the crowds before they could cast their vote.

A vote that took place “without any problems”.

The President of the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE), Alexandre de Moraes, assured at noon that the voting went “without problems” and wanted to confirm “the reliability and transparency” of the electronic ballot box system several times, criticized by Jair Bolsonaro.

He then told the press that “anybody who wants to vote before 5pm can do so” and that election day was “absolutely peaceful”.

“We will count all the votes today,” he added. “All the results will be announced in the presence of the TSE ministers for the president, governors, senators and federal or state deputies” who will elect Brazilians in this Sunday’s general election.

The reference institute Datafolha gave Lula, 76, at the head of the Labor Party (PT), a clear lead with 50% of the votes cast in the first round, versus 36% for Bolsonaro, 67 (Liberal Party).