During this debate of more than two hours on TV Globo, the most watched channel in the country, Lula and Jair Bolsonaro constantly accused each other of lying, to the detriment of the exhibitions of concrete projects for the four years of mandate at stake in the ballot. Sunday.
“Lula, stop lying, go home!” “Launched far-right president Jair Bolsonaro, 67, who went so far as to declare that his opponent should” be exorcised to stop lying “.
On the same note, the former left-wing head of state, who celebrated his 77th birthday on Thursday, was not to be outdone: “This guy is the biggest liar in the history of Brazil”, he said. he retorted, subsequently calling his opponent “unbalanced”.
“Do you take Viagra? »
Erection problems were even invited into the debate. “Do you take Viagra? “Bolsonaro asked Lula, who had asked him to account for the controversial purchase of 35,000 pills of this drug for the army.
Friday’s debate came on the home stretch of an often filthy campaign full of dirty tricks and massive misinformation on social media.
“It was an anti-debate, without the slightest novelty that could change the situation,” said political columnist Otavio Guedes on the Globonews channel, after this final televised debate before the second round on Sunday.
Lula has slightly increased (from four to six points) his lead in the latest poll by the benchmark institute Datafolha, published Thursday, with 53% of the voting intentions expressed, against 47% for the far-right president.
Beyond the verbal contest, the duel was also physical. Each candidate tried to best occupy the ground in the studio transformed into an arena for a merciless fight.
“Stay here, Lula! “said the outgoing president, while his opponent turned his back on him.
“No, I don’t want to stay near you!” “, replied the former metalworker, who often approached very close to the cameras to address the viewers eye to eye.
The debate was repeatedly interrupted by shouting from campaign teams in an attempt to destabilize the candidates.
“Brazil has become a pariah”
Lula attacked his opponent on his international policy, a subject which had hardly been touched on during previous televised debates. “Under your government, Brazil has become a pariah. Nobody wants to receive you and nobody comes here, ”he said.
The former head of state (2003-2010) recalled that he had been received with full honors at the Élysée Palace by French President Emmanuel Macron in November 2021.
“He takes himself for the little father of the poor”, quipped for his part Jair Bolsonaro, before calling his opponent a “bandit” who was imprisoned for 18 months for corruption in 2018 and 2019, before seeing his convictions canceled by the Supreme Court.
In the first round, on October 2, Lula came out on top with 48% of the vote, against 43% for Jair Bolsonaro. But the far-right president’s tally turned out to be far higher than the polls predicted, giving him some momentum for the campaign in between rounds.
Two major hiccups
However, this momentum was slowed down by two major hiccups: unwelcome statements by the Minister of the Economy Paulo Guedes, indicating that the increase in the minimum wage could no longer be indexed to inflation, and the incredible arrest of a former – Bolsonarist deputy who injured police officers with grenades.
Feeling cornered, President Bolsonaro, who had muted his criticisms of the electronic ballot box system, found a new hobbyhorse this week: the denunciation of alleged irregularities in the broadcasting of electoral propaganda on the radio.
The Superior Electoral Court (TSE) rejected the request of the Head of State’s campaign team, arguing that no evidence had been presented, which could constitute an “electoral offense” and an attempt to “destabilize of the second round”.
According to experts, Jair Bolsonaro is preparing the ground to contest the result in the event of defeat, fueling fears of violent incidents, like the invasion of the Capitol in Washington after the defeat of Donald Trump in the American presidential election, in January 2021.
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