Brazil’s presidential race will go on to a runoff after first-round results showed on Sunday that the two front runners failed to receive over 50% of the votes.
Brazilian electoral authorities said said the vote will go to a second round after former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva got 47.9% of the vote, while incumbent Jair Bolsonaro got 43.7%.
Why the election matters
Brazil is the world’s fourth-largest democracy and the two main candidates represent two ends of the political spectrum.
This caused uncertainty about the future of Brazil’s democracy. There were also concerns about whether either candidate could claim an outright victory.
Opinion polls had put Lula in the lead for months, and Bolsanaro avoided questions about whether he would respect results if he lost, prompting fears of post-electoral violence.
What to know about Bolsonaro and Lula
Bolsanaro, a far-right leader, came to power in 2018, promising to clean up politics and lift the economy.
But Bolsanoro was severely criticized for downplaying the dangers of the coronavirus and mishandling the pandemic, as well as failing to lift living standards for many Brazilians.
Lula, a leftist leader who was president of Brazil from 2003 to 2010, was credited for implementing extensive social programs that helped lift millions into the middle class.
The election campaign represented his attempt at a big political comeback since Lula was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2017 on a range of corruption charges.
But several criminal cases against him were dropped by a Supreme Court judge last year, allowing him to seek presidency again.
rm/fb (Reuters, AP, AFP)