Sao Paulo, Jul 9 (EFE).- Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro railed against abortion, “gender ideology” and drug legalization while taking part here Saturday in a March for Jesus organized by evangelicals.
“We are defenders of the Brazilian family,” the right-winger told the hundreds of people who turned out in Sao Paulo for the first in-person March for Jesus since before the Covid-19 pandemic, which has claimed 673,000 lives in Brazil
Bolsonaro, who is seeking a second term in the October election, described the contest as a battle “between good and evil” and promised that “the good will win once again.”
Polls show the president as much as 20 points behind his chief rival, former two-term head of state Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, standard-bearer of the center-left Workers Party.
“Every day when I get up I pray that our country does not submit to socialism,” Bolsonaro said, urging his crowd to contemplate the situation in leftist-led neighboring countries such as Venezuela, Argentina and Chile.
“We don’t want that for our Brazil,” said the retired army captain, who is an outspoken admirer of the military regime that ruled the giant South American nation from 1964-1985.
Not far from where Bolsonaro was addressing evangelicals, Lula was leading a pro-democracy rally in Diadema, part of the industrial belt around Sao Paulo where the future president once worked as a lathe operator in an auto plant and led protests against the military regime.
In a spirited speech, Lula denounced Bolsonaro as a “fascist” and said it was the incumbent’s fault that “that 33 million Brazilians will go to bed hungry today.”
Both men are working hard to secure votes in Sao Paulo state, Brazil’s wealthiest and most populous region. EFE