Jair Bolsonaro elected as Brazil president

Jair Bolsonaro elected as Brazil president

Jair Bolsonaro elected as Brazil president

"I always felt the presence of God and the force of the Brazilian people", Bolsonaro said, speaking to supporters outside his home in Rio de Janeiro.

Brazilian presidential candidate for the Workers' Party, Fernando Haddad, greets supporters in Sao Paulo, Brazil, after official results gave candidate Jair Bolsonaro 55.7 percent of the vote of the presidential run-off election, on October 28, 2018.

Bolsonaro, 63, will take office on January 1.

And the U.S. president's spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, said in a statement: "President Trump called President-elect Bolsonaro of Brazil this evening to congratulate him and the Brazilian people on today's elections".

Sitting next to his wife and wearing a dark blazer, the longtime congressman delivered his speech in a stern voice. The content of his speech was conciliatory and antagonistic in equal measures, claiming he would be a president "for all Brazilians", while also doubling down on his promises to rid the country of what he calls "communism, socialism, populism and left-wing extremism".

An outspoken admirer of U.S. President Donald Trump, Bolsonaro also pledged a smaller government and to realign Brazil with more advanced economies, overhauling diplomatic priorities after almost a decade and a half of leftist rule.

With much of the country's wealth concentrated in cities such as São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Bolsonaro - who will head a religious, conservative government that echoes the military dictatorship (1964-1985) - is unlikely to heal his country's deep divisions.

Bolsonaro, who was stabbed and seriously wounded last month by a would-be assassin, has used his campaign to channel popular anger over corruption, an ailing economy and rising crime rates. He has a history of disparaging remarks against LGBT people, women and minorities and has spoken of his support for torture and extrajudicial police killings. "For the first time I feel represented", Andre Luiz Lobo, 38, told AFP news agency.

Bolsonaro has proposed opening up the Amazon rainforest to agribusinesses like farming and logging and threatened to withdraw Brazil from the Paris climate accord, just as Trump did.

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Dubbed the "Tropical Trump" by some, Bolsonaro publicly admires the American leader.

"I was on the other side, but now I'm for Bolsonaro", said Ozisas Dasiovs, who expressed frustration regarding the country's current state.

Political analysts and activists reacted to the news in grim tones.

"This is a dark day for Brazil".

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

His opponent Mr Haddad had warned on Sunday that democracy and freedom were "at risk" in the election, echoing widespread fears that a Bolsonaro win would spell disaster for human rights and civil liberties. He said he understood why some employers prefer to hire men over women because women have access to more costly labour rights, such as maternity leave.

He once told a congresswoman that she did not deserve to be raped because she was "very ugly", Brazil's TV Globo reported. "Brazil owes a lot to former President Lula".

Bolsonaro's sudden rise comes as Brazil finds itself in its worst recession and embroiled in its biggest corruption scandal after the leftist PT ran the government for 13 of the last 15 years.

As the world on Monday took stock of Brazilian voters' decision to elect a far-right populist as their new president, congratulatory messages continued to arrive from political leaders.

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