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Far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro becomes Brazil's president

Jair Bolsonaro, a far right candidate and former paratrooper, has won the presidential election in Brazil. His party, the Social Liberal Party (SLP) secured 56 percent of the vote running against the left-wing candidate Fernando Hadad of the Workers Party (PT) who gained 44 percent, according to the electoral authority TSE. 

Bolosonaro’s victory runs in sharp contrast to the previous government which was run by the leftist Workers Party (PT), which had run the country for 13 of the last 15 years and was ousted two years ago due a dire recession and the nation’s largest corruption scandal. The former president, Michel Temer, was also wrapped up in this corruption scandal leaving him deeply unpopular. 

Bolosonaro presented himself as an anti-establishment figure promising to crack down on crime and corruption. He stated that in the cities and farm belt he would enable greater freedom for the police to kill criminals and to loose gun regulations so that regular Brazilians could fight crimes.

Bolosonaro is reported to have a history of racist, homophobic and sexist remarks; reportedly telling a female colleague that she was “not worthy” of being raped by him. He is also deeply sympathetic to military dictatorships, especially the regime that ruled Brazil from 1964 until 1985.

He is expected to encounter difficulty in passing legislation however, as though his party was able to increase its representation in the lower legislative chamber from one to 52 seats, the PT remains the largest party with 56 seats.