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

The intermission should last four weeks. Brazil begins a second electoral campaign period, on Monday, October 3, one day after the first round of the presidential elections in which former left-wing president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva won with 48.43% of the vote. His far-right rival, outgoing head of state Jair Bolsonaro, ranked with 43.20%, according to near-final results. (in Portuguese). A much narrower gap than expected.

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“Start a new campaign”says the investigator Christophe Ventura, director of research at the Institute of International and Strategic Relations (Iris). How this electoral period works, which will last until Sunday, October 30, the date of the second round of the presidential election, It will be carried out? What will be the main problems? Franceinfo interviewed several Brazilian specialists on this topic.

A time yet to be determined

“Tomorrow I start the campaign”Lula launched on Sunday night, promising “more trips and other encounters” Until October 30th. The schedule for the next four weeks remains to be finalized, but we already know that‘there will necessarily be a televised debate, if they agree to participate’emphasizes the political scientist Gaspard Estrada, a specialist in Latin America at Sciences Po. And evoke the communication of the candidates on television, for “ten minutes every day.” So wait a “very dynamic campaign, very tough” 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 Studies of the Americas of the Free University of Brussels (ULB). by the author of Brazil in 100 questions: the endless emergency (ed. Tallandier), Lula, for example, will have to seek votes among abstentionists, and in particular in the southeast of the country, such as in the State of São Paulo. The outgoing president obtained 47.71% of the votes there on Sunday, reports the Brazilian newspaper. Oh Globe*.

Risks of exacerbated tensions

Before the first round of voting, the campaign was marred by isolated acts of violence, particularly in the final days before the vote. A man posing as a Lula voter was stabbed to death in late September, followed the next day by support for Jair Bolsonaro in southern Brazil, France 24 recalls.

Should we expect more regular and less isolated violence over the next four weeks? “The risks are still very high”answers Frédéric Louault.

“There are no real signs of a softening of the campaign. On the contrary, tensions may even escalate.”

Frédéric Louault, political scientist

in france info

According to him, the Bolsonarista militants, already “very radicalized”, “I feel comforted by last night’s results” Y “allowed to exert pressure and intimidate the opposing camp”. various points “soothing” however, it must be taken into account. Much of the more local polling in these elections ended last night, reducing the instances of violence around these more local campaigns. Y “The first round took place without major incidents”the researcher points out.

Beyond the campaign, the results of the second round will also affect the risk of clashes. For Christophe Ventura, “more we will find ourselves in a scenario where the score will be tightmore will lead to a scenario of non-recognition by Jair Bolsonaro”. The researcher, evoking “The most radicalized fringes of Bolsonarism that are ready to do battle”fears “a kind of nihilistic spontaneity taking over the streets” if Jair Bolsonaro narrowly loses the elections. In this case, the role of the army will be decisive in deciding the outcome of the crisis.

The economy at the center of the debate

As has been pointed out by Washington Post, these four weeks of additional campaign will allow Jair Bolsonaro to highlight the improvement of some economic indicators, between the drop in inflation and the unemployment rate. However, the economic and social situation in the country remains dire, with 15% of the Brazilian population now going hungry – Brazil has also returned to the world map of food insecurity.

In this context, Lula will be able to highlight his career and in particular that of the “Bolsa Familia”, which in the 2000s helped lift millions of Brazilians out of poverty and hunger. The economy promises to be at the center of this campaign for the second round, “and it will be a balance debate” between the two leaders, says 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 center of the debates, adds Gaspard Estrada. for Lula, “this is the central question to attract the centrist electorate of Simone Tebet and Circo Gomes”, The center-right and center-left candidates trailed the two finalists with 4.16% and 3.04% of the vote. As for the outgoing president, he should “mobilize in values” conservative, religious and familiar, as it has done until now. “Lula is very careful with these social issues”, conservative circles are very important in Brazil, recalls Christophe Ventura.

A very polarized duel

Until October 30, in this context of strong polarization, the outgoing president runs the risk of maintaining his vindictive tone, warn the researchers interviewed by franceinfo. “This is part of the radicalization dynamics of this second round”summarizes Christophe Ventura.

“It’s going to be pretty upfront with each other.”

Christophe Ventura, political scientist

in france info

According to the researcher, “Bolsonaro will continue digging his furrow”stand as “the man who represents the people within the corrupt establishment”Lula having been imprisoned for 19 months for corruption before the cancellation of his sentence. As Gaspard Estrada points out, the result of the first round must “cheer him up” on this way, “because with this speech he obtained 43% of the votes”.

Will Lula respond with a harsher tone in the second round? “He has no interest in getting into the game of provocation. On the contrary, it seeks to unite people.”Frédéric Louault deciphers. “He has to play rather low profile, hold back and attack Jair Bolsonaro on his record.” The specialist also points out that Jair Bolsonaro, on some occasions, “He began to make this gesture, to moderate his speech a little” though, “Of course there will be attacks. That’s his style.”

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