Lula says Bolsonaro ‘possessed by satan’ as he launches Brazil election marketing campaign

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Brazil’s former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has formally launched his marketing campaign to reclaim the presidency with a ferocious broadside towards his rival, Jair Bolsonaro, who he claimed was “possessed by the satan”.

Lula’s rebuke got here on the primary official day of campaigning earlier than Brazil’s October election when 156.5 million residents will select the subsequent chief of a bitterly divided nation.

Talking in São Paulo’s manufacturing heartlands the place he started his spectacular political rise within the late Sixties, Lula urged voters to punish the incumbent Bolsonaro for his denialist, lie-filled response to a Covid outbreak that has killed greater than 680,000 Brazilians.

“If there’s anybody who’s possessed by the satan it’s this Bolsonaro,” the previous union chief, who was president from 2003 to 2010, bellowed in his trademark husky voice.

Lula’s remarks appeared partly an try to counter efforts by Bolsonaro’s marketing campaign to demonize the veteran leftist and persuade tens of millions of evangelical voters his return to energy would threaten their religion.

Bolsonaro, a far-right radical who calls the election a battle between God-fearing “good” and leftist “evil”, kicked off his re-election marketing campaign warning voters towards supporting “those that persecute and name for the closure of church buildings”.

Lula rejected these insinuations as he addressed supporters exterior automotive manufacturing unit in São Bernardo do Campo. “He’s attempting to control the nice religion of evangelical women and men,” stated the 76-year-old politician, who has taken to sporting a bullet-proof vest for concern of being attacked by a rightwing extremist.

A ballot launched on Monday instructed Lula continued to get pleasure from a cushty 12-point lead over Bolsonaro, who gained a landslide victory in 2018 however enraged many citizens along with his calamitous dealing with of coronavirus, which he referred to as “a little bit of a chilly”. Some polls recommend Lula might even declare a first-round victory by successful greater than 50% of votes.

Nonetheless, observers suspect Bolsonaro will achieve some floor because of politically charged welfare funds being provided to greater than 20 million households.

“I believe the numbers will in all probability tighten as we get nearer to the vote … which nonetheless places Lula in entrance, however not by an enormous margin,” stated Thomas Shannon, the US ambassador to Brazil below Barack Obama.


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