Mon. Jan 24th, 2022

Far-right president says two judges favored his left-wing rival, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, ahead of October’s election.

Brazil is far-right President Jair Bolsonaro accused two members of the Supreme Court of taking sides in this year’s election and favoring left-wing leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Bolsonaro has been speaking for months against judges Luis Roberto Barroso and Alexandre de Moraes over rulings against his policies and investigations into the president, including one for to spread fake news associated with COVID-19.

Lula, who President of Brazil was from 2003 to 2010, spent a year and a half in jail on corruption charges that were overturned by the Supreme Court last year, allow him to run again in this year’s election.

Bolsonaro and Lula are expected to run in a polarized election in October, although neither has formally declared that they will run.

“Barroso and Alexandre de Moraes want Lula to be president,” Bolsonaro said in a television interview on Wednesday. “Okay, they may not want to vote for me, but do they want the man who robbed the nation of eight years back in office?”

Barroso ruled last month that all travelers arriving in Brazil require proof of vaccination, a measure that is contrary to the views of vaccine-skeptical Bolsonaro. De Moraes oversees five investigations by the president, including one into his falsely associated comments coronavirus vaccines with AIDS.

The latest remarks by Bolsonaro, which drew widespread criticism and demonstrations for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, came as polls show that Lula has a clear lead over the far-right leader ahead of the upcoming vote.

Lula would get 45 percent of the vote compared to 23 percent for Bolsonaro if the election were held today, according to a Banco Genial / Quaest Pesquisas poll released on Wednesday.

Lula would win a second-round vote against Bolsonaro by 54 percent versus 30 percent, it said.

The Quaest poll showed that support for both candidates has fallen by 2 percentage points since the previous poll in December. Former judge against corruption Sergio Moro, which votes in third place, also dropped one point to 9 percent of voter intentions.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva greets fansFormer Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has criticized Bolsonaro for his handling of the economy and the COVID-19 pandemic [File: Bloomberg]

As COVID-19 cases increase in BrazilWith the proliferation of variant Omicron, the poll showed that 72 percent of Brazilians surveyed preferred the vaccination of children, which Bolsonaro opposed.

Bolsonaro’s negative rating numbers remain unchanged at 50 percent of voters who think his government is bad or terrible. Fifty-five percent of Brazilian women surveyed expressed that view, versus 45 percent of men.

More than 620,000 people have died from the coronavirus since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University data, while more than 22.6 million infections have also been reported.

Meanwhile, 73 percent of those surveyed think Bolsonaro did a bad job of fighting inflation, which reached a six-year high of more than 10 percent in 2021, government data showed Tuesday.

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