Published: Sun, November 04, 2018
Science | By Celia Watts

Brazil Elects 'Proud Homophobe' Jair Bolsonaro As President

Brazil Elects 'Proud Homophobe' Jair Bolsonaro As President

"Democracy must be able to endure a candidate like Bolsonaro", said Martin Duisberg, vice-president of the German-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce in Sao Paulo.

Bolsonaro, who is backed by Brazil's powerful agrobusiness lobby, had proposed the idea in the past, saying, "Let's be clear: the future ministry will come from the productive sector".

According to Steve Schwartzmann, senior director of tropical forest policy at the US-based Environment Defense Fund, it is doubtful Bolsonaro would even be able to affect Brazil's departure given the treaty passed unanimously through congress - including Bolsonaro's own vote.

During his campaign, the right-winger imitated US President Donald Trump's strategy of aggressively confronting the media, taking aim at Globo TV and Brazil's biggest newspaper, the Folha de S.Paulo.

Bolsonaro swept to victory in Sunday's election, easily beating his left-wing rival Fernando Haddad.

Bolsonaro openly praised a Brazilian self styled military dictatorship, defended extrajudicial killings and called for political adversaries to be shot.

"Bolsonaro is going to have to be much more careful about what he says because he has an economy which is much more fragile", he said.

And like Trump, Bolsonaro nevertheless won support from Brazil's religious right, earning the endorsements of prominent evangelical leaders in the run up to a first round of elections in early October.

Bolsonaro himself was stabbed in the abdomen at a rally last month and will need to undergo surgery in mid-December to remove a colostomy bag before he can travel to Santiago and Washington.

Hundreds of regime opponents were killed or disappeared during Brazil's 21-year dictatorship while thousands more were tortured.

"It's one thing to govern using social networks when it doesn't matter what you say; the economy is doing well", said Joel Velasco, a principal at the Albright Stonebridge strategy group and former advisor to the USA ambassador in Brazil.

The goal is to reduce by half some 29 ministries by combining others, such as Agriculture and Environment, said Deputy Onyx Lorenzoni, who may become Bolsonaro's next chief of staff.

Bolsonaro appeared in public Tuesday for the first time as president-elect. We urge you to make it one that leaves Brazil - and the world - a more just, more sustainable and more equal place than you found it.

Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index rose 3.7 per cent on Tuesday, boosted by strong corporate earnings and the resolve shown by Guedes on pension reform. His transition team planned to meet on Monday with President Michel Temer´s team to start work ahead of his January 1 inauguration.

But Bolsonaro and Trump face fundamentally different backdrops, with the Brazilian leader elected in the wake of economic crisis.

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