Author: Amanda

The Brazilian presidential election is a watershed for Latin America and the world

The Brazilian presidential election is a watershed for Latin America and the world

Food is on the ballot in Brazil’s contentious presidential vote Sunday.

Two candidates are vying to be the first non-white president in the Western Hemisphere.

Both men propose liberalising the country’s social and labour legislation — the sort of policies which have proven difficult to push through even with a progressive court ruling in Brazil’s favour.

With around 90% of the vote counted, Lula da Silva has won 49% of the vote, meaning he will be barred from running as president.

The race takes place against the backdrop of the country’s deep economic and social crisis, with the global financial meltdown.

The vote will be a watershed for Latin America — and the world.

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Lula da Silva has consistently claimed the key to his victory over Dilma Roussef was the Brazilian people’s support for his left-leaning social justice platform.

But Roussef is not the only candidate to offer a progressive agenda in Sunday’s vote.

In Sunday’s debate, former president Lula’s political mentor Dilma Rousseff outlined her plans to open Brazil’s “economy with a human face” by raising taxes on the wealthy, investing in public services and protecting the environment.

Brazilian presidential candidate Dilma Rousseff has pledged to open Brazil’s economy with a human face. (AFP)

Rousseff, who has pledged to open up the government and create a new kind of democracy, ran against Lula in the last presidential race and was beaten by the former president.

The question now is how the vote will turn out and what kind of legacy Lula da Silva will leave.

The debate

Brazilian presidential candidate Fernando Haddad holds a selfie photo of himself, with his wife, in honour of his electoral win. (AFP)

Many voters, particularly young people, are undecided or reluctant to vote. The poll says 54% are undecided and 18% do not intend to vote.

But as Brazilians wait to find out who will be their head of state they have been taking to social media sites to share their feelings, in

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