‘Trump Of The Tropics’ Wins First Round Of Brazilian Presidential Elections

Hanna Bogorowski | Reporter

Right-wing congressman Jair Bolsonaro won Brazil’s presidential election Sunday with 46 percent of the vote, but will have to face opponent and left-wing former Sao Paulo mayor Fernando Haddad in a runoff election after failing to receive a majority to win outright.

Bolsonaro, who has often been compared to U.S. President Donald Trump, began to rise in the polls after he was stabbed in the stomach at a campaign rally, a testament to how polarizing this election has been for Brazil.

Bolsonaro, a member of the Social Liberty party (PSL), was expected to win, however he edged out Haddad by a larger margin than expected, nearly 18 percentage points.

The former army captain has been referred to as the “Trump of the Tropics” for his provocative statements on several issues ranging from women to gun laws to abortion and immigration, but also for his ability to reach a similar base of Brazilians as Trump did Americans. (WATCH: ‘Brazilian Trump’ Brutally Stabbed During Rally)

“I voted for Bolsonaro because I’m tired of politicians being the same,” Maria Aparecida de Oliveira, a 63-year-old Brazilian housekeeper, told The Sydney Morning Herald.

“Even if he is a little crazy, someone needs to bring change.”

In his victory speech, which he broadcasted live on Facebook and uploaded on Twitter, Bolsonaro said Brazilians could take the path of “prosperity, liberty, family, on God’s side” or the path of Venezuela.

Brazil’s neighboring socialist country of Venezuela has been suffering through a devastating economical collapse in recent months that has driven mass amounts of people out of the country, some headed to Brazil.

Bolsonaro’s son and fellow congressman, Eduardo Bolsonaro, tweeted a picture of himself with former Trump advisor Steve Bannon, saying he thinks they “share the same worldview.”

Brazilian stocks soared the most they have in two years on Monday after the election results as the Brazilian Bovespa index gained 5.5 percent, according to CNBC.

Investors have welcomed a Bolsonaro victory in recent weeks, as they feared Haddad’s policies would due little to change the economy’s current course while Bolsonaro’s would bolster it.

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