Far-right presidential candidate in Brazil stabbed at rally

For the latest on the political landscape in Brazil, CGTN’s Mike Walter spoke with Peter Hakim, the president emeritus and senior fellow of the Washington-based think tank Inter-American Dialogue. He’s also teaches at the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies at American University.

Comments by Peter Hakim: 

“[The Bolsonaro stabbing] throws the election into greater chaos. This is one of the most uncertain elections, not only in Brazil but in Latin America as a whole. There are five candidates besides Lula da Silva, the former president that was leading everybody from jail. He will most certainly not be able to run although he keeps trying [to appeal] through different courts. Bolsonaro, the man who was attacked so brutally, is now the leading candidate, and he has around 25% of voters [according to polls] whereas the next person has about 10-13%, so it’s up for grabs. The situation is very polarized and three or four candidates are being investigated for corruption or other crimes. This is a very tricky situation for Brazil.”

“[Lula] will have to pass on the baton, if nothing else to sustain the party. The party is Brazil’s second or third largest party […], and it’s got to have a presidential candidate to keep the party together. If not, it’s likely to diminish significantly. He’ll likely [pass the candidacy] on to his vice president Haddad who’s also being investigated.”

“Bolsonaro will almost certainly be in the second round. The problem for the other four candidates is if they can make it [as well].”

“One indicator of how [Brazilians] feel is that all of the candidates that have a chance of winning the election, let’s say four or five of them, have greater disapproval ratings than positive [ratings], including Lula [because] about 60% of the population want to keep him in jail. Bolsonaro has the highest rejection rate as well as the highest approval rate. Therefore, the Brazilians will be choosing who to vote against, not who to vote for.”