A political debate between two men spirals out of control in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. A supporter of far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro stabbed to death a follower of former leftist president and current presidential candidate Luis Inacio Lula da Silva. Authorities reported this on Friday. Brazil will hold a presidential election in October, but sentiment is already running high.
Rafael Silva de Oliveira, 24, stabbed Benedetto Cardoso dos Santos, 42, to death during an argument over supporting presidential candidates. The suspect was arrested and taken to the police station, where he confessed the facts.
The election campaign in Brazil is highly polarized. Currently, Lula leads in the opinion polls, but his lead is slightly down: Lula currently receives 45 percent of the vote, compared to 34 percent for Bolsonaro. Last week, Bolsonaro gained just 32 percent. Commenting on the stabbing incident, Lula told reporters on Friday that there was a “climate of hate in the electoral process.” He described it as “totally abnormal”. Lula also suggested that authorities should investigate whether such incidents were “ordered, directed, or whether they were a political strategy.” No evidence was provided to substantiate the suggestion of orchestrated attacks.
A similar incident occurred in July when a A local worker from the Workers’ Party of Lula was shot dead by a prison guard who expressed his support for Bolsonaro.
On Friday morning, a Bolsonaro fan sustained a head injury after saying he was attacked by Labor supporters while waiting for Lula’s arrival at an event in the city of Sao Goncalo, in the state of Rio de Janeiro.
Bolsonaro, aka “Trump the Tropics” He has long been critical of Lula and his leftist allies, and has already indicated that he may not accept defeat in the election. Like Trump, he points to baseless allegations of election fraud and the problems of Brazil’s widely respected electronic voting system.
The first round of the Brazilian presidential elections will take place on October 2. If neither candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote on that day, a run-off election will be held on October 30 between the two candidates who received the most votes in the first round.
Lula said Friday that he does not believe he will win immediately in the first round of the election. Every candidate thinks they can win in the first round. “I’ve never been this lucky but I appreciate two rounds,” he said on Friday. He said he would appreciate a second round as it offered the opportunity for a “tête-à-tête debate”.
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