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Far-right congressman Jair Bolsonaro wins Brazil presidential election

Far-right congressman Jair Bolsonaro wins Brazil presidential election”

Far-right former Army captain Jair Bolsonaro has been elected the next president of Brazil, defeating Workers' Party's Fernando Haddad in the decisive runoff.

His victory over leftist candidate Fernando Haddad marks a lunge to the right for Latin America's largest country, after a divisive campaign marked by widespread outrage at the political class - but also fears over Bolsonaro's denigrating remarks about women, gays and blacks.

Far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro has won a sweeping victory in Brazil's presidential election.

During the presidential campaign, Bolsonaro announced that he would not accept the election results unless he won.

Haddad, a 55-year-old former Sao Paulo mayor, had been making up ground after finishing a distant second to Bolsonaro in the first round three weeks ago with just 29% compared to 46.

The runner-up has vowed to "defend freedoms" of president-elect's opponents.

In the final two days of campaigning, Bolsonaro has sounded more moderate in his statements, backing down on a plan to follow U.S. President Donald Trump's example and pull Brazil out of the Paris climate change accord.

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People on their way to vote at a polling station of Rocinha, a shantytown in Rio de Janeiro.

Bolsonaro voted in a military district in Rio de Janeiro, greeted by supporters shouting "legend" and "president".

Presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro waves to his supporters as he leaves a polling station in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on October 28, 2018.

"All these people here are outraged, upset about corruption and crime, and we are with Bolsonaro". He has a history of disparaging remarks against LGBT people, women and minorities and has spoken of his support for torture and extrajudicial police killings.

Supporters celebrated in the streets, setting off fireworks at Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach, and in Sao Paulo they gathered on the central avenue with banners and flags.

"By preventing former president Lula da Silva, Brazil's most popular politician, from running in this election, the country's right-wing elites subverted democracy and paved the way for a unsafe fascist to take power", Weisbrot said.

Bolsonaro, a veteran congressman, is unabashedly nostalgic for Brazil's brutal 1964-85 military dictatorship, and has been accused of authoritarian tendencies.

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However Mr Haddad's PT remains the largest party, with 56 seats.

Haddad stood as a surrogate for the popular - but imprisoned - ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who led Brazil through the boom years of 2003 to 2010, before both the country and his left-wing political project went bust. Lula himself is serving a 12-year prison term. He tweeted on Saturday that he would vote for Haddad.

In Sao Paulo, the economic capital, Marcos Kotait, 40, a publicist, said he had "never seen such a polarized election".

"This country belongs to all of us, Brazilians by birth or by heart, a Brazil of diverse opinions, colors and orientations", he said, reading off a sheet of paper in a live television address.

His promises, like Trump's, were easy to digest: He would bring the fight to criminals with brute force, clean up corruption by jailing politicians on the take and give the Brazilian economy the kind of tough love it needed via pension reform and privatization.

Bolsonaro's sudden rise comes as Brazil finds itself in its worst recession and embroiled in its biggest corruption scandal after the leftist PT ran the government for 13 of the last 15 years. In 2016, then-President Dilma Rousseff of the Workers' Party was impeached and removed from office on charges that many on the left felt were politically motivated.

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