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Lula leads the polls ahead of Brazilian election

FORMER president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva appears to be heading for victory in Sunday’s Brazilian presidential elections, according to latest polling.

Some surveys even suggest that the leftwinger, commonly known as Lula, could win in the first round.

As polling day neared, far-right President Jair Bolsonaro’s Liberal Party released a report claiming to have evidence that federal employees wield “absolute power to manipulate election results without leaving a trace.”

The claim, made in a report from the party, represents just the latest attempt by Mr Bolsonaro and his allies to cast doubt on the validity of the election before it has even taken place. 

He has also claimed that poll findings on the election outcome are false. A survey released on Wednesday by Genial/Quaest showed Lula leading the incumbent president by 13 percentage points.

Brazil’s election authority dismissed the Liberal Party’s report, calling its claims “false and untrue, without any support in reality.”

Independent experts on the country’s electoral system also said that claims of flaws in the system’s security were “completely fabricated” and that other issues raised in the report were problems that have long existed, but not ones that point to Brazil’s elections being at risk of hacking or security breaches.

Attempts by Mr Bolsonaro and his party to sow doubt over the election results appeared to intensify as polling day approched.

The president has warned that he will only leave office if he’s “killed, jailed, or victorious” and has called on his support base to “go to war” if the vote is “stolen.”

As Carolina Ricardo of Brazil’s Instituto Sou da Paz, an anti-violence group, wrote on the Open Democracy website on Thursday, the president has “ensured he has plenty of armed supporters” who may react to his potential loss with violence, as former US president Donald Trump’s base did in January 2021.

“In my view, it is a political project of the Bolsonaro government to facilitate the arming of the population,” said Ms Ricardo.

France24 reported on Thursday that the doubts sowed by the president have already fuelled violence against a progressive city councillor in Rio de Janeiro.

“We’re seeing lots of isolated cases that, when you add them up, form a mosaic of shocking violence,” Councillor Chico Alencar told the broacaster.

“These attacks are provoked by people who question the legitimacy of the electronic voting system, who denounce electoral fraud, who say that we are evil incarnate. There is unbelievable radicalisation.”


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