Brazil election goes to the wire after a heated final debate.

The two politicians who are fighting to become Brazil’s next president have had a heated debate on television. This debate is important because it will affect the Amazon rainforest, the global climate emergency, and the future of one of the world’s biggest democracies.

The run-off election will be held on 30 October.

The former leftist president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and the current far-right president Jair Bolsonaro faced off in Rio at the studios of Brazil’s biggest broadcaster. Polls taken the day of the election gave Lula a small but not unassailable lead.

Bolsonaro was accused of botching a COVID-19 outbreak that has killed nearly 700,000 Brazilians, as well as helping organized crime by relaxing gun laws, and trashing the Amazon. “Cuba is more isolated than Brazil. We have become an outcast,” the 77-year-old leftist said, blaming Bolsonaro “crazy behaviour.”

The most significant election since the end of Brazil’s 21-year dictatorship in 1985 has split the country, with half of voters rejecting Bolsonaro and almost as many spurning the incumbent.

On 2 October 2022, general elections were held in Brazil to choose the president, vice president, National Congress, governors, vice governors, and legislative assemblies of all federative units, and the District Council of Fernando de Noronha. The run-off election for president and governor in some states was scheduled for 30 October 2022, as no candidate received more than half of the valid votes in the first round.

Jair Bolsonaro is the incumbent president. He was elected in 2018 as the candidate of the Social Liberal Party, but he left the party in 2019 and many of his ministers resigned or were fired during his term. After a failed attempt to create the Alliance for Brazil, he joined the Liberal Party in 2021. For the 2022 election, he selected Walter Braga Netto of the same party as his vice presidential candidate, rather than incumbent vice president Hamilton Mourão.

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