Brazil: the devil enters the electoral campaign

São Paulo. EFE

Former President Lula da Silva, the most voted candidate last Sunday in the first round of elections, was forced to deny false news that accused him of having “a pact with the devil” and to reiterate that he is a Christian and believes in God.

“Lula has no pact and has never talked to the devil,” says a message posted on the progressive leader’s social networks after false news was spread to that effect, promoted by groups favorable to Bolsonaro.

Religion has entered the campaign mainly because of Bolsonaro, who has built a strong base of support among evangelicals, who constitute about 30 percent of the electorate, thanks to a discourse centered on the defense of Christian and conservative values.

This Tuesday, Bolsonaro participated in a cult with evangelicals, to whom he asked “not to be carried away by the siren songs” of former President Lula da Silva ahead of the second round of the presidential elections on October 30.

“His answers are always empty. ‘Vote for me, I’m going to bring happiness,’ she says. We already had that experience in the past, make comparisons”, affirmed the far-right leader before dozens of parishioners present at a temple in Sao Paulo, the largest city in Brazil.

The president, who obtained 43.2% of the votes in the first round last Sunday compared to 48.4% obtained by Lula, began this second phase of the campaign by appealing to the evangelical vote, a group that mostly supports him for his defense of ultraconservative values, such as the rejection of abortion.

In his speech, the retired Army captain once again alluded to the corruption cases uncovered during the Workers’ Party (PT) governments, first with Lula (2003-2010) and later with Dilma Rousseff (2011-2016).

“Since he (Lula) says that the place of the pastors is the church and that of the military, the barracks; I say that the place of the bandits is the jail”, he expressed among the applause of the parishioners.

Bolsonaro once again used the governments of Nicolás Maduro, in Venezuela; Alberto Fernandez, in Argentina; Gustavo Petro, in Colombia, and Gabriel Boric, in Chile, to attack the left and stir up the “ghost of communism” in Brazil.

“My request is that our people never suffer the pain of communism,” he reiterated.

“Let’s not accept the easy dialogue that everyone is going to be happy again”, He later indicated in another criticism one of his opponent’s campaign slogans in the runoff.

Regarding the electoral result of last Sunday, the head of state described it as “a miracle” because, in his opinion, “everyone” has gone against him, including “the press and the pollsters.”

Free to choose. The Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), which governed Brazil for eight years with Fernando Henrique Cardoso, abstained from choosing between Jair Bolsonaro and Lula da Silva for the second round and left the decision in the hands of its regional committees.