Brazil Elections: Jair Bolsonaro Supporters Film Themselves Voting With Guns

Brazil votes amid anger at the ruling class

Better-off Brazilians have rallied to Bolsonaro's pledge to crush crime in a country where there are more than 62,000 murders each year, almost as many rapes, and frequent muggings and robberies.

Like much in this election, it hasn't turned out as predicted.

He is riding a wave of anger at the establishment after the uncovering of one of the world's largest political graft schemes, opposition to a return to power by the leftist Workers Party (PT) blamed for much of that corruption, and fears about spiking crime in the country with more murders than any other. Bolsonaro claimed 46 percent of votes; he'll face Workers' Party candidate Fernando Haddad, who won just under 30 percent. The poll interviewed 19,552 people Friday and Saturday and has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.

He will face the left-wing Workers' Party candidate, Fernando Haddad, in the second round on 28 October.

The campaign to run Latin America's largest economy, which is a major trade partner for countries in the region and a diplomatic heavyweight, has been unpredictable and tense. Expect jailed former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to take a back seat in the campaign.

Bolsonaro's poll numbers have increased by about 15% since he was stabbed on September 6.

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But the comparison with the USA leader is not entirely accurate: Bolsonaro himself once served in the military as an army captain, is in fact a long-standing member of Brazil's congress, which he joined in 1991, and does not have the backing of a major party.

Rousseff was impeached in 2016 for manipulating the fiscal budget.

Yesterday, outside of Bolsonaro's headquarter in a wealthy neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, supporters screamed, "The captain arrived". He has advocated loosening gun ownership laws so individuals could fight off criminals, giving police a freer hand to use force and restoring "traditional" Brazilian values - though some take issue with his definition of those values in light of his approving allusions to the past military dictatorship and his repeated derisive comments about women, blacks and gay people.

"For a front-runner, the best thing to do is commit as few errors as possible", said Andre Portela from Getulio Vargas Foundation, a leading university and think-tank. "Bolsonaro has been able to channel that and present himself as the bearer of change, though it's not clear if he really would be".

In the interview, he said that record crime rates in Brazil were the main concern for Brazilians, including women.

Far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro won the first round of Brazil's presidential elections on Sunday, Reuters reported.

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Caught in the middle are Brazilians who dislike both candidates and see them as symbols of a broken system. Considered a long-time power broker, in 2016 a recording came to light purportedly capturing him discussing a pact to stem the massive "Car Wash" corruption probe that had engulfed numerous political class. Deltan Dallagnol, a prosecutor who heads the "Car Wash" task force, on Monday tweeted the names of dozens of elected officials who were accused of corruption and did not get re-elected.

Beginning in 2014, prosecutors alleged Brazil's government was run like a cartel for years, with billions of dollars in public contracts handed out in exchange for bribes.

His presidential rival Ciro Gomes even went as far as dubbing Mr Bolsonaro a "little tropical wannabe Hitler".

But at least as many in the 147-million-strong electorate reject the veteran federal lawmaker.

His critics hope that more scrutiny will show that there is not much of substance in his election manifesto but his supporters for now seem happy with the headlines he has been making, controversial or not.

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