March 22, 2023

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Brazil: 3 months before presidential election, Lula and Bolsonaro rally

Three months before Brazil’s presidential election, the two favorites, former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, campaigned in Salvador de Bahia (northeast) on Saturday.

Lula and Bolsonaro showered together in two separate locations, 10 km from each other, with heavy security measures in place.

The far-right president accompanied his supporters to the Barra beach lighthouse, the starting point of a procession of dozens of motorbikes along the coast in the south of the city for about two kilometers.

“(During the October referendum) what is at stake is our well-being and our freedom,” chanted Mr. Bolsonaro climbed onto a platform to disrupt the crowd before getting on a two-wheeler.

“Together we will win (…) and paint green and yellow the streets of our beloved city of Salvador,” the former army chief said, as hundreds of people, mostly wearing yellow jerseys, gathered. Brazilian national football team.

At the same time, Lula was in Largo da Lapinha, 10 km to the north, where a procession (on cattle, not motorcycles) was taking place to celebrate the anniversary of the independence of the state of Bahia.

The last soldiers of the Portuguese colonialists were expelled from Salvador on July 2, 1823, less than a year after Brazil’s declaration of independence.

The left-wing former leader (2003-2010) dressed in red and chanted “Ole, ole ole, Lula, Lula! He passed.

“I’m very happy that Lula is back (in politics), because with him, our hope is back. Today is the first step to victory so that Brazil can finally be reborn,” Vivian Correa, who was waiting for her preferred candidate in the parking lot of the Fonte Nova stadium, told AFP in the afternoon.

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According to the latest poll by benchmark institute Datafolha, published last week, Lula was credited with 47% of voting intentions, compared to 28% for Bolsonaro.

Two other candidates attended Saturday morning for Bahia’s independence celebrations in Salvador, Ciro Gomez (center-left), third in the Datafolha poll (8%) and Senator Simone Debate (center-right, 1%).