Podcast: Brazilian Election Special | Cassandra Voices

Podcast: Brazilian Election Special


Fellipe Lopes joins Frank Armstrong to discuss the results of the first round of the Brazilian Presidential elections in which former President Lula failed to secure the required 50% to avoid a second round run-off against the incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro. Nonetheless, Lula remains favourite to win in the second round.

However, Fellipe argues that Bolsonaro “has already won the election”, given that ultraconservative candidates have emerged victorious in state legislatures and the Congress. It will be difficult for Lula to do very much, he says, even if, as assumed, Lula wins the second round.

The importance of Brazil in the world cannot be overstated. It contains most of Amazonia, the lungs of the world, and a huge, and growing, population of over two hundred million. Many Brazilians are living in Ireland now too.

Fellipes points to the historic difficulties of Lula’s P.T. (Workers’ Party), arising particularly after the impeachment of President Dilma, and a number of corruption scandals.

He also looks back at Bolsonaro’s background. For a long time he was an unremarkable representative for Rio de Janeiro, but he was able to connect with the public through cheap jokes and an emphasis on family values and law and order.

They also discuss the importance of Evangelical Christianity in Brazil, which has been around for a long time in an historically Catholic country. Many pastors are now powerful political figures.

Fellipe argues that the Brazilian left failed to connect adequately with vulnerable communities, unlike their opponents, who have also been adept at harnessing the power of social media.

Feature Image: Fellipe Lopes


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