• President Jair Bolsonaro called Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva a “thief” and insisted on linking him to Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, saying they are “close friends.”

The absence of former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and criticism of President Jair Bolsonaro focused the second electoral debate between the presidential candidates ahead of the October 2 elections in Brazil.

Bolsonaro and five other candidates with minimal options for the Presidency participated in an insipid televised debate marked by the non-appearance of Lula, leader of all the polls and whose pulpit was empty during the little more than two hours of discussions.

The progressive former head of state, who this Saturday led two campaign events in the city of Sao Paulo, alleged scheduling problems and lack of time, which earned him harsh criticism from his opponents, some of whom called him “cowardly.” ”.

Bolsonaro, second favorite, but with a disadvantage of between 10 and 15 points with respect to Lula, according to the polls, was the other great victim of the night, despite putting aside his most incendiary profile and maintaining a somewhat more moderate tone.

Other candidates question Bolsonaro

During the debate, the other candidates attacked President Jair Bolsonaro, but the far-right leader tried to defend himself by highlighting his questionable management and denying any accusation of corruption in his cabinet, despite the suspicions raised in the offices of Health and Education.

To try to reduce that difference with Lula, the president also directly attacked his greatest rival, whom he again called a “thief” and insisted on linking him to the president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, saying that they are “close friends.”

All the polls published to date attribute to Lula between 40 and 45 percent of the voting intentions, compared to the 30 percent that Bolsonaro would obtain, and some polls even predict the victory of the candidate of the Workers’ Party (PT) in the first round.

Next Thursday a third and final debate will be held before the first round of the elections on October 2 in Brazil, which Lula does plan to attend and which will be broadcast on the Globo network, the media outlet with the highest incidence in the country.

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