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Thousands march against far-right presidential candidate in Brazil’s Sao Paulo

Muslim Times(Web Dsek) – Thousands of Brazilians have taken to the streets of Sao Paulo to protest against far-right politician Jair Bolsonaro, who has won the first round of the country’s presidential election.

The protesters on Wednesday marched down the city’s iconic Paulista Avenue against Bolsonaro, who won the first round of Brazil’s presidential election last week but failed to secure the 50 percent of valid ballots needed to avoid a runoff.

Holding banners with anti-fascist slogans, the protesters chanted, “Bolsonaro, my country doesn’t need you” and “Dictatorship never again.”

Bolsonaro, a 63-year-old former army officer, is known for repeated abusive comments against certain communities and for commending the military dictatorship that Brazil shucked off three decades ago.

He represents the Social Liberal Party (PSL) and is deemed the potential winner of Brazil’s second-round election, slated for October 28.

One demonstrator participating in the Wednesday rallies said, “We have a kind of threat not seen yet in our democracy, a clearly fascist threat, and it is not an exaggeration to use that word for Bolsonaro’s rhetoric.”

Bolsonaro garnered 49 million votes — 46 percent of the total — in the Sunday election and will have to face Fernando Haddad, the candidate for Brazil’s leftist Workers’ Party (PT), in the run-off.

Haddad, a 55-year- Brazilian academic and politician, has picked up some of the support that exists for leftist ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the Workers’ Party icon jailed for a corruption conviction.

The current president, Michel Temer, will leave office at the end of the year as a deeply unpopular figure in a country with 13 million unemployed people, a climbing public debt, inflation, and violence.

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