Bolsonaro a 'cheap copy' of Donald Trump: Lula
The main candidate for the Brazilian presidency is accusing his far-right rival of being a "cheap copy" of his former American counterpart.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is a "cheap" copy of his former US counterpart, Donald Trump, for constantly having something negative to say about the Brazilian election system, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the chief candidate for the Brazilian presidency, said on Monday.
Bolsonaro is habitually making allegations that the Brazilian election system is riddled with fraud with little to no evidence that would not even amount to sufficient, which has brought life to fears that the far-right president might try to cling to power if he loses in the upcoming election in October.
The right-wing President "has lied, spread fake news, and defied our institutions," Lula said in an interview with foreign correspondents.
"He's a cheap copy of Trump," added the leftist leader who was president of Brazil from 2003 to 2010. However, he said he was confident Brazilian institutions would adhere to the election result "without question."
Bolsonaro has long been critical of the computerized voting machines, which have been in use since 1996 in Brazil. That led to fears that the "Tropical Trump" will be following in the footsteps of his American counterpart upon his potential loss in the upcoming election.
A new poll ahead of Brazil's presidential election in October shows former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva maintaining a significant lead over Jair Bolsonaro, but the right-wing incumbent is gaining ground.
Lula's strong showing in the poll means there is a small chance he could ultimately receive over 50% in the first round, avoiding a runoff against 67-year-old Bolsonaro.
"Trump also tried to avoid accepting the result. They tried to invade the Capitol, and in the end, he had to give in," Lula said. Similarly, as there have been fears surrounding this issue in the United States, the Brazilian public is highly concerned that this will happen in the Latin American country, too.
Bolsonaro claimed Monday that he would respect the results, "as long as the elections are clean and transparent."
Thousands of Brazilians flocked earlier this month to the University of Sao Paulo's law school to stand up for Brazil's democratic institutions. Nearly 45 years ago, a similar gathering took place where citizens joined together to denounce military dictatorship under far-right then-President Emílio Garrastazu Médici.
During the protests, the people of Brazil heard statements defending the democratic process and the nation's electoral framework, which President Jair Bolsonaro has regularly attacked in the spur of his reelection campaign.
The Brazilian President adopted extremist views against women, Afro-Brazilians, and the left. The deforestation of the lungs of the planet, the Amazon rainforest, has surged exponentially under his watch.
Before Jair Bolsonaro’s term began in January 2019, the Brazilian Amazon hadn’t recorded a single year with more than 10,000 square kilometers of deforestation in over a decade. Between 2009 and 2018, the average was 6,500 square kilometers. Since then, the annual average leaped to 11,405 square kilometers.