Lula against Bolsonaro, the final duel between two titans in Brazil


This Sunday's elections in Brazil are the final duel between two titans. That one or the other win at the polls means that the fourth most populous democracy in the world will follow antagonistic paths. The battle is extremely close. A count of heart attack is expected from five in the afternoon in Brasilia (four more hours in mainland Spain), when the polling stations close. The leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who has just turned 77, aspires to defeat the current president with the promise of restoring democracy, pampering his compatriots and taking them back to the good old days of two decades ago, when, with him in the Presidency, millions of Brazilians prospered and the poorest had opportunities unimaginable until then. His nemesis, Jair Messias Bolsonaro, 67, is trying to be re-elected to defend ultra-conservative values, prevent the expansion of the right to abortion or any liberalization of drugs, prioritize individual freedoms and promises that his homeland will be the great dam against the advance of what which he calls communism.


Brazil also elects the governor of São Paulo and those of 11 other states that were not defined a month ago. Although Lula was five points ahead of Bolsonaro in the first round, on day 2, the movement led by the far-right showed its strength by obtaining a majority in Congress. Lula, leader and founder of the Workers' Party (PT), arrives at the moment of truth with a slight advantage in the polls, but either of them could win the victory because the panorama is very open.

The polls anticipate a tight end, with 49% for Lula compared to 44% for Bolsonaro in the Datafolha poll this Thursday. However, in the first round, the main pollsters underestimated the strength of Bolsonaro, who in his entire political career has never lost an election. But the second most voted candidate in a first round never ended up finally winning an election.

92% of the electorate is clear about his vote. You already know if, in the electronic ballot box, you will type in Lula's 13 or Bolsonaro's 22. This certainty is not surprising because there is no Brazilian who does not know them. And none of them leaves anyone indifferent. They are charismatic, each amassing millions of loyal followers to the extreme and have been in politics for more than four decades. At this point there are very few orphan votes left.

The Brazilians prepare for an exciting scrutiny until the end. A victory for Lula in the richest and most populous country in Latin America would give great strength and culminate the progressive turn that the region is experiencing. It would be the third term of a man who was already president between 2003 and 2010. Lula grew up in misery, learned late to read, as leader of the metallurgical union organized strikes against the dictatorship and is the first worker to win the head of state in one of the most unequal countries in the world. A truly inspiring feat for the poorest and most needy compatriots of him.