Brazil, ex amb. Bernardini: “Bolsonaro beyond expectations, open game”

Fabio Porta (Pd): “Concern for a Trump scenario”

In an increasingly divided Brazil, we will have to wait for the runoff on October 30 to find out who will be the next president, with former left-wing president Luiz Inacio Lula leading 48% and outgoing far-right president Jair Bolsonaro reaching 43% beyond the expectations of the eve. Arguing with the Adnkronos are two connoisseurs of Brazil, the former Italian ambassador Antonio Bernardini and Fabio Porta, elected to the Chamber with the Democratic Party for the division of South America.

“The polls influenced expectations on the eve. The results surprised many because Lula was expected to win in the first round, “says Bernardini, underlining how the” new element “of the first round of the Brazilian presidential elections was the stronger-than-expected statement of the outgoing president, Jair. Bolsonaro, and for this reason the former ambassador believes it is difficult to predict the ballotwhere “the game is open”.

Bernardini underlines how Bolsonaro’s party has demonstrated, with the success of senators and deputies, that it “is a more deeply rooted force and not just one of opinion” compared to the previous elections. “The weak result of the Workers’ Party (PT) is also surprising” by Luiz Inacio Lula, notes the retired diplomat. In Sao Paulo, he underlines, the candidate for governor of the PT, Ferdinando Haddad, finished second and will have to face Tarcisio de Freitas, former minister of Bolsonaro in the second round. While in Rio de Janeiro, outgoing governor Claudio Castro, from Bolsonaro’s party, was re-elected in the first round.

For his part, Lula has regained much of the consensus lost by the PT in the last elections, especially in the north east, but not enough to win in the first round. “A painful month” is expected in view of the runoff, even if Bolsonaro “has a high number of votes to recover”, notes the diplomat who speaks of an “open game” for which it is “difficult to make predictions”.

The elections took place in a “highly polarized climate”. But Bernardini cautiously answers the question of whether a Trump-like scenario can be feared, with Bolsonaro not accepting defeat. “There was no dispute about the result of the first round, I hope there is no second round”, he replies, recalling that the electronic voting system has been used for several years, and it also served to elect Bolsonaro. Finally, the diplomat underlines that the presidential winner “will have to decide what role Brazil will have on the international scene”. “Lula is pushing for a Brazil with a more active role”, but in the meantime “the international scenario has changed a lot”, notes Bernardini.

According to Porta, Luiz Inacio Lula will likely win in the ballot, but the country is deeply divided and there is “concern” about the risk of a Trump scenario. with outgoing president Jair Bolsonaro who may not recognize the result in a “wall against wall” climate.

The result of the first round “confirmed the prediction of an advantage for Lula” even if the gap with Bolsonaro was smaller than expected, Porta notes, however foreseeing a victory for the first since the electorate of the third and fourth finishers “tends to they should look to Lula more. ” “Certainly, however, it is clear that Brazil is divided in half. Whoever is president will have to rebuild the fabric of the country”, warns Porta, underlining how “Bolsonaro’s identity and even authoritarian attitudes did not favor a peaceful climate during the electoral campaign”. “We hope that the second round will take place peacefully, and that Brazil will be able to choose their future with ease, probably with Lula’s second round victory.”

Is there a risk of a Trump scenario, with Bolsonaro refusing to admit defeat? “Unfortunately there is a risk, not only because of the ideological and behavioral analogies between Trump and Bolsonaro, which are quite evident, but also because on more than one occasion Bolsonaro has hinted that it is not certain that he and his constituents would accept peacefully a defeat “, replies Porta.

“Several times Bolsonaro has questioned the electoral system, the reliability of the results. If we add to this the climate of confrontation, the exponential multiplication that has taken place in Brazil, also due to laws favored by Bolsonaro, of the possession of weapons, the concerns are not entirely unfounded. And therefore this worries us “, remarked Porta.

“We of the Democratic Party, but I think all Italians – he concludes – look with great interest at what is happening in Brazil. It is a country to which, apart from those who govern it, we are linked by 35 million Italian descendants. What happens to you can only affect us almost personally in person “.