Liar, this is how Far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro and leftist ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called each other in a final debate Friday night. It spanned topics like economy, corruption, the Amazon rainforest, abortion and foreign policy, with mentions of exorcism and Viagra as well.
“Brazilians know who the liar is,” said Lula, as the two locked horns over minimum wages and the leftist’s history of corruption allegations,
“Stop lying Lula, stop lying. It’s getting ugly,” said Bolsonaro.
This was their second head-to-head debate, an end to a brutal campaign which saw mudslinging, negative ads and a flood of disinformation on social media.
Lula currently holds a small lead in the polls, but experts believe it could turn out to be anybody’s race. Both Lula and Bolsonaro tried to make the best use of the debate platform in a bid to win over voters.
“The only thing that could change (the situation) at this point is the debate,” political scientist Felipe Nunes, director of polling firm Quaest, told AFP.
“Any slip-up, any tone-deaf remark, could end up being decisive in the final result,” he said.
Lula led Brazil from 2003 to 2010 and is leading hardline conservative Bolsonaro 53 per cent to 47 per cent, according to a poll published Thursday by the Datafolha institute.
Lula’s social programs helped lift millions out of poverty, making him the country’s most popular president when he left office in 2010.
But he found himself entangled in a massive corruption scandal later and was jailed for 18 months. However, his convictions were thrown out last year.
“With me you will have safety, you will have honesty. There won’t be theft. Do you want me to give more examples of corruption Lula? Or can we move on,” said Bolsonaro.
Bolsonaro also insinuated that Lula had links to drug traffickers because he visited one of Brazil’s sprawling favelas on October 12.