World takes stock of Bolsonaro win in Brazil’s presidential election

Brazilian presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro

Brazilian presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro. MAURO PIMENTEL AFP

Brazilian right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro defeated leftist Fernando Haddad to win the country's presidential election in a runoff Sunday.

US President Donald Trump has called Jair Bolsonaro on Sunday to congratulate the far-right candidate on winning Brazil's presidency, the White House said.

Bolsonaro's home in Rio de Janeiro was flooded with supporters following the announcement, who waved Brazilian flags and set off fireworks. His inauguration will be on January 1, 2019.

Casting himself as a political outsider, Mr Bolsonaro ran a campaign characterised by violent talk and far-right positions, including praise for Brazil's 1964-1985 military dictatorship, support for torture, and outright racism, misogyny and homophobia.

Far-right populist Jair Bolsonaro had 56 percent of the votes in the run-off against left-wing hopeful Fernando Haddad, official results showed.

But an even larger portion of voters rejected Haddad and the tarnished legacy of the Workers' Party, which had won the past four presidential elections.

Bolsonaro has proposed opening up the Amazon rainforest to agribusinesses like farming and logging and threatened to withdraw Brazil from the Paris climate accord, just as Trump did.

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TRT World's Ediz Tiyansan has more from Rio de Janeiro.

Wearing an army-green jacket, he left with a double thumbs-up, saying only that he could not make a statement for security reasons.

"Fascists!" shouted tearful supporters at the headquarters of Haddad's Workers' Party in Sao Paulo.

Bolsonaro, 63, repulses a large part of the electorate - and many outside the country - with his overtly misogynistic, homophobic and racist rhetoric.

He once told a lawmaker he opposed that she "wasn't worth raping;" he has said he would rather see his sons die than come out as gay; and he commented after visiting one black community that they "do nothing - they're so useless I doubt they can procreate".

He often took to Twitter to lambaste the rival Workers' Party as unethical and unsafe. But he is also very much a product of a ideal storm in Brazil that made his messages less marginalized: widespread anger at the political class amid years of corruption, an economy that has struggled to recover after a punishing recession and a surge in violence.

Incidentally, both - U.S. and Brazil - are now ruled by conservative populists promising to overturn the political establishment.

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Out of Bolivia, opposition to leftist President Evo Morales is also congratulating Bolsonaro.

"We're electing our captain".

Running for the formerly minor Social Liberal Party, Bolsonaro is, according to many political analysts, a symptom of the crises ailing Brazil since the Workers' Party's 13 years in power came crashing to an end with the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff in 2016.

On the other side, the reaction was despair - and a defiant vow to resist.

"You are all my witnesses that this government will defend the constitution, of liberty and of God", Bolsonaro said in a Facebook live video in his first comments after his victory.

"He incites hatred. If he becomes president, he'll legitimize all that hatred inside people".

Like Trump, he has repeatedly raised concern about the risks of increasing Chinese investment in Brazil, warning that it allows Beijing to exert too much influence on the country and the region as a whole.

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"I'm not very enthusiastic, because I don't really like either candidate", Elias Chaim, 23, an engineering student and music producer, told AFP at a polling station facing the legendary beach of Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro.

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