North Great George’s Street in Dublin’s North Inner City was awash with people yesterday as thousands queued to cast their vote in the Brazilian presidential election.
It was hoped that the election would see former left-wing president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva take over 50% of the votes in order to overthrow the current conservative president Jair Bolsonaro. However, the final poll saw Bolsonaro take an unexpected rise meaning the two will compete in a second round of voting later this month.
While the voters queuing outside the Erin School of English on North Great George’s Street were divided, many could be heard singing “Fora Bolsonaro”, translating to “Bolsonaro out”.
The polling station was the only one in the country despite more than 10,000 Brazilians being registered to vote in the election from Ireland. As a result, delays of over two hours were reported with several lines snaking their way up and down the street.
In an interview, one of the voters, Francioli Olivera, described Bolsonaro’s presidency as “hell”.
She also criticised Bolsonaro’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. “What can I say about Bolsonaro? He’s hell for people who live in Brazil. He was terrible about coronavirus, he just don’t take care about the population.”
Solidarity to Brazilians around the world voting today against the Bolsonaro regime in Brazil.
— People Before Profit (@pb4p) October 2, 2022
In another report in RTÉ, Nayara, a woman who had travelled from Limerick to cast her vote described it as “the most important day for Brazil”.
She continued, “I am here, to give my vote, because we are going to get rid of Bolsonaro.
“I’m feeling so hopeful because this is the feeling in Brazil. We want change because things are not good, so we have to change.”
Although Brazil has seen gains in LGBTQ+ rights in the last couple of years, such as the lifting of a ban on gay and bisexual men from donating blood and the criminalising of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender, these have all been driven through the judicial system with little or no support from the government or its leader who is reported to have frequently made homophobic remarks.
The second round of voting for the Brazilian presidential election will take place on October 30.
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