situation report

Oct 28, 2018 | 23:04 GMT

2 mins read

Brazil: Bolsonaro Wins Presidential Election

What Happened: Populist right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro defeated the leftist Workers' Party candidate Fernando Haddad in the runoff round of Brazil's presidential election, Folha reported Oct. 28, citing Brazil's Supreme Electoral Tribunal. Bolsonaro took 55.6 percent of the vote, with Haddad winning 44.4 percent.

Why This Matters: As president, Bolsonaro is expected to take a tougher stance on criminal activity, ordering more deployments of the country's security forces against organized crime in Brazil. Bolsonaro will also take a strongly pro-business position, continuing where his predecessor Michel Temer left off in efforts to privatize state assets. However, the new president could present a challenge to Brazil's trade and investment relationship with China. Bolsonaro is an intensely nationalist figure who opposes heavy Chinese investment in strategic sectors, such as Brazil's electricity infrastructure and extraction of niobium deposits

Background: Bolsonaro was only four points short of winning the presidency outright on Oct. 7. Having secured a victory in the runoff, he has strong public support to continue the fight against corruption, which was a central part of his Social Liberal Party platform. However, deepening the government's ability to target corruption will require expanding the federal bureaucracy that investigates and prosecutes corruption. Such a task will be difficult for an austerity-minded country that has a divided Congress.

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