What is the stake of Lula and Bolsonaro’s (long) campaign for the second round?

The intermediate round should last four weeks. Brazil begins a second period of campaigning on Monday October 3, the day after the first round of presidential elections in which former left-wing President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva won 48.43% of the vote. His far-right rival, outgoing leader Jair Bolsonaro, qualified after near-final results with 43.20%. (in Portuguese). A much narrower distance than expected.

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“A new campaign starts”says the researcher Christophe Ventura, Research Director at the Institute for International and Strategic Relations (Iris). How is this electoral term, which will last until Sunday 30 October, the date of the second round of the presidential elections, will it take place? What will the main themes be? Franceinfo interviewed several Brazilian specialists on the subject.

A schedule has not yet been set

“Tomorrow I will start the election campaign”She made a promising start to Lula on Sunday night “further trips and other meetings” until October 30th. The schedule for the next four weeks is yet to be determined, but we already know that“There will inevitably be a televised debate if they agree to participate”stresses the political scientist Gaspard Estrada, Latin America specialist at Sciences Po. And to conjure up the communication of the candidates on television “Ten minutes a day”. He therefore expects a “very dynamic, very tough campaign” between Jair Bolsonaro and Lula.

“The candidates are preparing their meetings and campaign calendars according to the results of the first round”continues Frédéric Louault, professor of political science and Co-director of the Center for the Study of the Americas at the Free University of Brussels (ULB). According to author out Brazil in 100 Questions: The Endless Creation (ed. Tallandier), for example, Lula will have to seek votes from the abstentions, particularly in the south-east of the country, such as in the state of São Paulo. The outgoing president received 47.71 percent of the vote there on Sunday, reports the Brazilian newspaper Oh globe*.

Risks of heightened tensions

Before the first ballot, the election campaign was overshadowed by isolated acts of violence, especially in the last few days before voting. At the end of September, a man posing as a Lula voter was fatally stabbed, and support for Jair Bolsonaro in southern Brazil followed the next day, France 24 recalls.

Should we expect more regular, less isolated violence over the next four weeks? “The risks remain very high”replies Frédéric Louault.

“There are no real signs of a weakening of the election campaign. On the contrary, tensions could even increase.”

Frederic Louault, political scientist

at franceinfo

According to him, already militant Bolsonarists “very radicalized”, “Feel comforted by last night’s results” and “may exert pressure and intimidate the opposing camp”. Multiple points “soothing” however, should be noted. Much of the more local polling in these elections ended last night, reducing instances of violence related to these more local campaigns. and “The first lap went without any major incidents”shows the researcher.

Beyond the campaign, the results of the second round will also affect the risk of confrontations. For Christophe Ventura, “All the more we will find ourselves in a scenario where it will be tightthe more it will be conducive to a scenario of non-recognition by Jair Bolsonaro”. The researcher, evokes “The Most Radical Fringes of Bolsonarianism Ready to Lead the Fight”feared “a kind of nihilistic spontaneity taking over the streets” if Jair Bolsonaro narrowly loses the election. In this case, the role of the army will be decisive in the outcome of the crisis.

The economy at the heart of the debate

As stressed by Washington Post, these four weeks of additional campaign will allow Jair Bolsonaro to highlight the improvement of some economic indicators between the fall in inflation and the unemployment rate. However, the country’s economic and social situation remains serious, with 15% of the Brazilian population now suffering from hunger – Brazil has also returned to the world map of food insecurity.

In this context, Lula will be able to highlight his record and in particular that of the “Bolsa Familia”, which helped lift millions of Brazilians out of poverty and hunger in the 2000s. Business promises to be the focus of this campaign in the second round, “And there will be an accounting debate” between the two front runners, emphasizes Frédéric Louault. The latter recalls that Jair Bolsonaro recently increased aid to the most disadvantaged until December.

The issue of defending democracy and the rule of law will also be at the heart of the debates, adds Gaspard Estrada. for lula, “This is the central question to attract the centrist constituency of Simone Tebet and Circo Gomes”, Centre-right and centre-left candidates trailed the two finalists with 4.16% and 3.04% of the vote respectively. As for the outgoing president, he should “Mobilize for Values” conservative, religious and family, as before. “Lula pays close attention to these societal issues”, Christophe Ventura recalls that conservative circles are very important in Brazil.

A very polarized duel

Until October 30, in this context of strong polarization, the outgoing president risks maintaining his vindictive tone, warn researchers interviewed by franceinfo. “It’s part of the radicalization dynamic of this second round”sums up Christophe Ventura.

“It’s going to be pretty head-on between them.”

Christophe Ventura, political scientist

at franceinfo

According to the researcher, “Bolsonaro will continue to dig his furrow”present themselves as “The man who represents the people within the corrupt establishment”Lula was jailed for 19 months on corruption charges before his conviction was overturned. As Gaspard Estrada points out, the result must be the first round “encourage him” on this way, “because with this speech he received 43% of the votes”.

Will Lula respond with a harsher tone in the second round? “He’s not interested in playing the game of provocation. On the contrary, he’s trying to bring people together.”decodes Frédéric Louault. “He has to play rather unobtrusively, hold back and attack Jair Bolsonaro on his record.” The specialist also notes that Jair Bolsonaro on a few occasions “started making this gesture to tone down his speech a bit” although, “Of course there will be attacks. That’s his style.”

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