Brazil’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal on Sunday declared far-right congressman, Jair Bolsonaro as the winner of the country’s presidential election. He was declared winner after 94% of the votes were counted, defeating the leftist ex-Sao Paulo mayor, Fernando Haddad.
The electoral tribunal released early results showing Bolsonaro leading with 55.54% of votes to Haddad’s 44.46%, a difference which is larger than the amount of votes left to be counted.
Bolsonaro won the first round of the elections in October amid a field of 13 candidates, but he fell short of the 50% needed for an outright win and avoid a runoff against Haddad who represents the Workers’ Party.
Amid a prolonged recession, rising crime rate and widespread corruption scandals, Bolsonaro’s victory caps one of the most polarizing and violent political campaigns in the country’s history,
While Bolsonaro’s supporters were rejoicing on Sunday, opponents voiced concerns that his victory could threaten human rights and ecological preservation in the world’s fourth largest democracy.
Speaking earlier in the day, Haddad said Brazil’s democracy was at stake as Bolsonaro’s plans to industrialize the Amazon would bring untold destruction to the planet’s largest rainforest and the communities who call it home as well as spell disaster for the global climate.
The 63-year-old Bolsonaro, who was stabbed in the stomach last month during a rally in the city of Juiz de Fora in Minas Gerais State wore a body armour and arrived through the back entrance when he went to cast his ballot on Sunday.