Bolsonaro, Lula go on offensive in Brazilian presidential debate

by | Aug 29, 2022 | World

Right-wing President Bolsonaro has trailed behind left-wing former leader Lula in polls ahead of the October elections.Right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro and left-wing former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva both went on the offensive during the first presidential debate of Brazil’s election season.
The televised Sunday night event, which included six of the country’s 12 presidential candidates, saw Bolsonaro portray Lula as a corrupt former politician seeking to regain power, while Lula, who was president from 2003 to 2010, accused his right-wing opponent of driving the country’s economic progress into the ground.
In his opening remarks, Bolsonaro called Lula a “thief” and highlighted the so-called “Car Wash” scandal, a pay-for-play scheme that allegedly involved kickbacks to politicians and officials of the majority-state-owned Petrobas oil company in exchange for lucrative contracts.
Lula, who has maintained his innocence, was controversially convicted in 2017 of money laundering and corruption in connection with the scheme but was released from prison in 2019. The country’s Supreme Court annulled the conviction in 2021.
[embedded content]
“Your government was the most corrupt in Brazilian history,” 67-year-old Bolsonaro said during the televised debate.
“It was a kleptocracy, a government based on robbery … What do you want to come back to power for? To do the same thing to Petrobras again?” he added.
Lula responded that Bolsonaro was spreading “untruths” and, in turn, accused the president of mishandling the country and undoing years of economic growth and anti-poverty initiatives.
“This country has been destroyed,” Lula said, citing increased poverty and hunger, soaring prices and a surge in destruction in the Amazon rainforest.
Bolsonaro also bore the brunt of attacks from less prominent candidates, with Senator Simone Tebet, who is running for the centrist Brazilian Democratic Movement party, seizing on the right-wing p …

Article Attribution | Read More at Article Source

Share This