Brazil’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal declared Sunday that far-right congressman Jair Bolsonaro, a champion of traditional Brazilian values, has won the country’s election for the presidency of Latin America’s biggest country and the world’s fourth-largest democracy.
Bolsonaro, who cast himself as a political outsider despite a 27-year career in Congress, is the latest of several leaders around the globe to gain prominence by mixing tough, often violent talk with right-wing positions. But he also is very much a product of a political tempest in Brazil that made his messages less marginalized: widespread anger at the political class amid years of corruption, an economy that has struggled to recover after a punishing recession and a surge in violence. The name of his party, PSL, translates to “Social Liberal Party,” although it largely abandoned its socially liberal platforms after he joined.
Bolstering his rebel image is his reputation for offensive statements and sometimes extreme views, including insulting women, black people and the LGBT community.
“I’m afraid to go out at night when it gets dark,” said Raquel Nunes, 27, a secretary from Sao Paulo and an avid Bolsonaro supporter, as The Wall Street Journal reported. “But he’s going to solve this, he’s going to be firm, talking didn’t get us anywhere so we need to respond with force.”