Jair Bolsonaro Fast Facts 2018
If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that Brazil is not a country to be trifled with. When Bolsonaro became President of the country, the response to his appointment varied between condemnation and bewilderment. A wave of protests had taken place in various Brazilian cities over the previous months, prompting Bolsonaro’s appointment as interim leader. Bolsonaro’s style has not been particularly popular in Brazil, but his message has resonated with a large majority of the electorate. He is on track to win the 2018 Brazilian presidential election as part of a broad alliance between the traditional right and the leftist opposition Front for the Alternative in Brazil (FABI).
Bolsonaro’s main rival for the presidency, Fernando Haddad, is currently leading in the polls by a single percentage point, and if the trend continues, Bolsonaro almost certainly wins the presidency. As well as his stance on immigration, drug policy and the environment, Bolsonaro’s main electoral weakness is his attitude to the media. On being appointed president he has promised to stop the media and ‘respect Brazilian civilisations and defend indigenous tribes.’ On a campaign trip to Colombia he stated that ‘the internet is a beast, it doesn’t respect our civilisation, but I respect all of civilisation.’
Bolsonaro has also made a number of questionable statements since his election. His decision to attend the meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump was seen by many as a sign that he is willing to go to war with the United States. He has also stated that the military ‘should be used to defend the country.’ Bolsonaro has also said that his administration ‘will defend all democratic rights.’
The main reason given for these remarks is that he believes that there are no democratic rights outside of the US Constitution and the Brazilian Constitution. In January this year he tweeted that he was ‘proud to defend democracy.’
On the other hand, he has defended the use of torture techniques such as the waterboarding of ‘terrorist leaders.’ He has also described himself as ‘an atheist.