gambling without a license-Bolsonaro and Lula officially kick off Brazilian presidential campaign

  Time:2022-09-27 02:44:06   Author: Mike   comment
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Ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and incumbent Jair Bolsonaro traded insults on Tuesday as they launched their campaigns for Brazil's October elections.

The two front-runners, who have in reality been campaigning for months, made it official on the opening day with events that also showcased their polar-opposite styles.

Bolsonaro, 67, launched his campaign with a rally in Juiz de Fora, the small southeastern city where an ­attacker stabbed and nearly killed him during his 2018 campaign - cementing his image in the minds of die-hard supporters as their "Messias," or Messiah, his middle name.

"This is where I was reborn... This is where the creator saved my life so I could give my best for our nation as president," an emotional Bolsonaro told cheering supporters.

Hitting hard on the themes of Christianity and family values, Bolsonaro acknowledged Brazil's "serious problems." But the ex-army captain called himself the best candidate to lead the country, warning his opponent's return would be a "step backward."

The president drew his loudest cheers when he handed the mic to First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro, a devout Evangelical Christian who led the crowd in prayer and took her own digs at Lula.

"Our enemy just wants to steal, deceive and destroy," she said.

Lula, meanwhile, launched his campaign with a visit to a Volkswagen plant in Sao Bernardo do Campo, the industrial heartland of the Sao Paulo state where the 76-year-old launched his political career as a union leader in the 1970s.

"I'm returning so we can take our country back," he said.

Slamming Bolsonaro as a "bogus, genocidal president," he condemned the "lies" he said the incumbent's camp was spreading about him in a bid to win the powerful Evangelical vote - an estimated 31 percent of Brazil's 213 million people.

Lula currently leads with 44 percent of the vote to 32 percent for Bolsonaro, according to the latest poll from the Ipec institute. If no candidate wins more than 50 percent of valid votes in the October 2 election, a runoff will be held on October 30.

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