As Sunday saw homophobic far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro win the first round of the Brazilian presidential election, left-wing candidate Fernando Haddad may stand in between Bolsonaro and the presidency as long as he unites voters on the left.
Workers’ Party candidate Haddad advanced to the second round of elections for the country’s presidency. Haddad, the former Minister for Education, served as the mayor of Sao Paolo between 2013 and 2017.
As Minister for Education, Haddad launched an anti-homophobic bullying initiative in schools and has pledged to be an ally for Brazil’s LGBT+ community. The politician and academic has promised to criminalise homophobia and transphobia. Moreover, he has announced plans to launch Transcidadania, a national programme that would provide educational and professional training grants to transgender people in Brazil.
Haddad has been critical of Bolsonaro’s views on women, racial minorities and the LGBT+ community, having suggested that his opponent may have a “psychological problem”. Bolsonaro has plans to relax gun laws and bring back the death penalty, as well as being in favour of torture as a legitimate practice.
In congress, he told a female politician “I would never rape you because you do not deserve it”. In a past interview, he said: “I would not be able to love a gay son, I would rather he die in an accident”.
Bolsonaro was interviewed by out actor Ellen Page for Viceland’s documentary series Gaycation. The Juno star challenged Bolsonaro on his views:
“I’m gay. So do you think I should have been beaten as a child to not to be gay now?”
“I’m not going to look at you and say, ‘I think you’re gay.’ That doesn’t matter to me. You’re very nice. If I were a cadet in the military academy and saw you on the street, I would whistle at you. All right? You’re very pretty.”
“I believe that for the majority of gay people it’s a behavioural issue. When I was young, talking about the percentage, there were few [gay people]. Over time, due to liberal habits, drugs, with women also working, the number of homosexuals has really increased.”
If Haddad is to beat the homophobic and misogynist candidate, he will need to unite all the voters on Brazil’s left, and not just the members of his own party.
The second round of elections will be held on October 28.
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