Jair Bolsonaro, a brash far-right congressman who has waxed nostalgic for Brazil’s old military dictatorship, won the presidency of Latin America’s largest nation Oct. 28 as voters looked past warnings that he would erode democracy and embraced a chance for radical change after years of turmoil.
The former army captain, who cast himself as a political outsider despite a 27-year career in Congress, became the latest world leader to rise to power by mixing tough, often violent talk with hard-right positions. His victory reflected widespread anger at the political class after years of corruption, an economy that has struggled to recover after a punishing recession, and a surge in violence.
“I feel in my heart that things will change,” Sandra Coccato, a 68-year-old small business owner, said after she voted for Bolsonaro in Sao Paulo. “There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Bolsonaro, who ran on promises to clean up Brazil and bring back “traditional values,” won with just over 55 percent of the vote on turnout of 78.7 percent. (AP)