Old habits die hard. As he usually does on Election Days, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva voted before 9 am Brazilian time in São Bernardo do Campo, a city in the Greater São Paulo Area where he emerged politically as a union leader. The polls opened nationwide at 8 am.
Lula enters Election Day with around 50 percent of voting intentions according to polls — and a first-round landslide win is a possibility. The former president has repeated that he does not fear any attempts to convulse the democratic process if he manages to clinch the race today.
“The most fanatic Bolsonaristas will have to adapt to the majority of society. The majority of society does not want confrontation. People want peace,” Lula said. “I think it will be easy for us to reestablish democracy and peace in this country.”
President Jair Bolsonaro also voted early, in a military village in Rio de Janeiro. “With fair conditions, without any problem, let the best win,” the incumbent said prior to voting.
Yesterday, Mr. Bolsonaro suggested the only possible outcome of free and fair elections would be him getting over 60 percent of the vote. The polls show him hovering in the low-to-mid-30s range. Mr. Bolsonaro failed to respond when questioned if he would recognize the results of the election regardless of the outcome.
Mr. Bolsonaro was accompanied by Congressman Daniel Silveira, who in April was convicted by the Supreme Court for threatening to physically assault Supreme Court justices on social media. He had been sentenced to almost nine years in prison. Quickly after the conviction, Mr. Bolsonaro issued a pardon to Mr. Silveira.
Lula will follow the results in São Paulo, while Mr. Bolsonaro will do so in Brasilia. You can follow the results on The Brazilian Report — we will hold a live broadcast from 4 pm.