Brazil’s presidential race goes down to the wire, but Lula has edge

Sao Paulo, Oct 29 (EFE).- Leftist ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva remained a favorite choice of Brazilian voters, holding a slender lead over far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, according to two opinion polls released on the eve of the Sunday vote.

Lula was ahead of Bolsonaro by a margin of four to five percent votes, the surveys showed, a day before the Brazilians head to voting stations for the presidential run-off polls.

The survey by pollster Datafolha indicated that the leftist leader has the support of 49 percent of voters, compared to 45 percent for Bolsonaro.

A two-point margin of error puts the contestants close to a technical tie.

However, 4 percent of survey votes were deemed invalid, and another 2 percent were undecided.

Excluding invalid and blank votes, Lula would be left with 52 percent and Bolsonaro 48 percent, according to Datafolha, which puts the current president in striking distance from a difficult-but-yet-possible re-election.

But the survey by Ipec put Lula in a stable position with a slightly larger lead, with Lula obtaining 50 percent of the support, while the current president was 43 percent.

The two contestants enter the second round after Lula secured the most votes in the first phase on Oct.2, with 48.4 percent compared to the 43.2 percent received by Bolsonaro.

The two political heavyweights wrapped up their high-voltage election campaign that lasted for days and turned ugly at times.

Lula raised the tone on the eve of the voting, saying Bolsonaro was not mentally fit to govern.

He likened the incumbent to former US president Donald Trump for “blatantly lying.”

Lula was speaking to reporters in Sao Paulo after he closed his campaign.

The former president said Bolsonaro mishandled the Covid-19 health crisis that killed nearly 700,000 Brazilians.

He said Bolsonaro had armed organized criminals by relaxing gun laws, caused damage to Amazon rainforests, and hurt Brazil’s international reputation.

“Brazil is more isolated than Cuba.” EFE


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