Trump tells Brazil to vote for ‘highly respected’ Jair Bolsonaro in country’s tight runoff election
Donald Trump on Sunday urged Brazilian voters to re-elect President Jair Bolsonaro as the polls open for the controversial second round of democracy.
More than 120 million people are expected to vote for either Bolsonaro, a right-wing populist, or former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, one of the founders of the left-wing Workers’ Party.
The candidates advanced to a second round of elections after neither secured 50 percent of the vote in their first race on October 2, although da Silva Bolsonaro was ahead by four points.
Trump, a staunch ally of Bolsonaro, wrote in his Truth Social app early Sunday morning: “To the people of Brazil, this is your big day, and also a big day for the world.”
“Your GREAT and highly respected president, Jair Bolsonaro, needs you to go out and vote TODAY so that your country can continue on its incredible path of success,” the former US president continued.
“Don’t let the radical left lunatics and maniacs destroy Brazil like they have so many other countries.
“President Bolsonaro has done a fantastic job, has my full and total approval and deserves your VOTE. He will NEVER let you down!!!’
Donald Trump has stepped into Brazil’s controversial presidential race several times to bolster his ally, Jair Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro rose to fame in 2018 by embracing the ‘Trump of the Tropics’ label
Trump posted a message on his social media platform Truth Social in the early hours of Sunday morning
During his 2018 takeover, Bolsonaro embraced his label of “Tropical Trump” for his brash and bombastic public stances, as well as his coming to power on a wave of anti-establishment anger.
Both made attacks on the media as part of their brand, promoted similar fake cures for COVID-19 and appreciated projecting a strong image to the world.
And on Sunday, voters in Brazil will decide between four more years of Bolsonaro’s far-right government or to vote for a former two-time president whose government has been plagued by corruption scandals.
Bolsonaro and da Silva are both polarizing figures in Brazil.
Bolsonaro, who has touted himself as a Christian nationalist, has sparked a wave of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest that environmentalists say could have damaging, irreversible effects on climate change.
In its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, his country’s Senate accused Bolsonaro of “crimes against humanity.”
He urged Brazilians to vote against the left-wing candidate, popular former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (picture cast of his vote on October 30)
Bolsonaro’s allies have expressed doubts about the electoral count, no different from Trump’s 2020 circle, and it’s not clear whether Brazil’s president will accept the results if he loses
He has also openly expressed anti-LGBTQ views and promoted election fraud conspiracy theories no different from Trump’s.
After the first round of elections earlier this month, Bolsonaro wrote on Twitter that he had a better turnout in 2022 than in 2018, that he had “never lost an election” and that “God” would not let him lose one now.
It is also not clear whether Bolsonaro would accept the election results if he loses.
On Saturday evening, the former army officer shared a video in which Trump ordered Brazilians to vote.
“I can tell other leaders, myself included, respect him at the highest level,” Trump said. “He’s bringing it back like no one could.”
Echoing themes he expressed to his own supporters of global status and “respect,” Trump continued, “Brazil takes a whole new place in the world. You are respected all over the world because of your president.”
“Don’t lose him, don’t let that happen, it wouldn’t be good for your country, and I love your country, but it wouldn’t be good,” the ex-US president said.