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Tension until the last minute: the battle between Lula and Bolsonaro is still open after the final head-to-head | International

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Lula and Bolsonaro, this Friday night in the last electoral debate before the presidential elections on Sunday.MAURO PIMENTEL (AFP)

Neither the last debate between the candidates for president of Brazil before the polling stations open early on Sunday has sentenced the battle this Friday. The face to face in the channel Balloon has disappointed those who expected him to tip the scales in a race that is, according to the polls, very even. Brazilians they elect this sunday president between Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Jair Bolsonaro. The far-right, the current president, who was five points behind the leftist in the first round last day 2, has started the offensive. But Lula has been more solid during a face to face that has lasted two hours and 40 minutes.

From the outset, as soon as it began, the extreme right-wing president and candidate for re-election stated, addressing his rival: “You know that the system is against me” and from there he went for Lula’s jugular. He has tried to get away and talk about the achievements of his governments (2003-2010) and his future plans if he manages to win the elections this Sunday.

Lula has calmly endured Bolsonaro’s aggressive offensive attacks, in an attempt to place the corruption in the heart of cara cara because he knows well that it is a weak point of the leftist. Time and time again, the founder of the PT has tried to take the president to the field of government management and to answer questions about hunger —that is, the 33 million Brazilians who do not know if they are going to dinner or have breakfast—about what he intends to do so that Brazil is once again respected on the international stage, about why he reduced the money to combat violence against women. Bolsonaro responded evasively, diverting attention to more general achievements of his government in these or other areas.

This is the second and last televised heads-up that both celebrate. They had two more with the rest of the presidential candidates before the rest fell in the first round.

The format of the debate has allowed them to question each other directly and even interact on stage. At a time when Bolsonaro approached Lula, he blurted out: “I don’t want to be near you.” In the previous debate, Lula jumped when her opponent put her hand on her shoulder.

The vast majority of the accusations, attacks and arguments have been repeated with respect to what was heard in previous debates. And the level has disappointed some observers. “We spent the week waiting for this debate as if it were the World Cup final. And we have a game in the rain, with a flooded field, a fight in the small corner area and blocks to the judge, ”analyst Thomas Traumann has tweeted.

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Liar, again, has been the word of the night. Especially in the mouth of Bolsonaro, who has launched himself insistently at his rival. Lula has made an effort to present himself as a veteran manager who can present the achievements of two terms to the electorate. The former far-right military man has tried to sell himself as someone honest, without corruption scandals, who at the head of the Executive has done what he could in an unfavorable situation marked by the pandemic. They had been debating for more than an hour when Lula brought out the coronavirus and reproached his rival for his disastrous management and lack of empathy.

Striking have been the frequent religious references of the founder of the Workers’ Party, who has given “thank God” on several occasions for being in the presidential race. And that this week he presented a letter to evangelicals in which he refuted one by one the main falsehoods that Bolsonarism spreads about him. The leftist knows that when the debate turns to questions of values, he is at a disadvantage. That’s why he tries to dodge those issues. When Bolsonaro brought up the issue of abortion tonight, he reiterated that he rejects it: “I am against abortion and my wife is too,” he said when the current president accused him of being “an abortionist who is in favor of drugs, and more seriously, in favor of gender ideology”.

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