Brazil's Bolsonaro gets to work on hardline agenda

Ismael LynchNov 03, 2018

"They always accuse others of being what they are themselves", he said.

Markets surged in the weeks ahead of Bolsonaro's Sunday victory on the expectation that he could pull off the tough fiscal agenda.

"This country belongs to all of us, Brazilians by birth or by heart, a Brazil of diverse opinions, colours and orientations", he said, reading off a sheet of paper in a live television address.

Bolsonaro, 63, has represented the state of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil's Chamber of Deputies since 1991 and is a member of the Social Liberal Party (PSL), a national-conservative political party.

Surprisingly, few German managers see Mr. Bolsonaro's growing popularity as a sign that Brazil is shifting to the right.

"Brazil has the potential to be a leader on curbing climate change, but Jair Bolsonaro needs to commit to a Zero Deforestation policy instead of weakening environmental protections to make way for more industrial cattle grazing and farming", said Asensio Rodriguez of Greenpeace's Brazil arm in a statement to ThinkProgress.

"In the past, we were leaders on this front and we will once again lead in the short term, most certainly", Bolsonaro said in the video, recorded before his election win on Sunday.

A staunch supporter of agribusiness, Bolsonaro has promised to favor investors over ecologists in the Amazon rainforest.

Bolsonaro went into yesterday the clear front-runner after getting 46 percent of the vote to Haddad's 29 percent in the first round of the election on October 7, which had 13 contenders.

Brazilian voters hung their hopes on a populist savior in closely-watched weekend elections, sweeping firebrand personality Jair Bolsonaro into the presidential office in a move that has human rights activists and those fearful of a return to authoritarianism on edge.

Bolsonaro has frequently disparaged women, gays and blacks, praised torture and killings by police, and has said he would name military men to his cabinet.

But the former army captain had struck a more conciliatory tone in the final days of the campaign, saying, "I'm open to negotiation on that issue".

Retired General Augusto Heleno, slated to become defense minister, told reporters that Bolsonaro has a positive view of a planned $4.75 billion joint venture between Boeing Co and Brazilian planemaker Embraer SA.

"They follow the wave that looks like salvation, but really it's the brink of collapse", she said, claiming Bolsonaro's plans will likely worsen crime, violence and inequality.

"We need a minister with a specific role, not linked to the economy ministry, which worries more about revenues and public finances", it said.

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