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Brazilian voters head to the polls this weekend to pick their next head of state, with a choice between right-wing incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, or Lula, a former union leader from the country’s left-wing Workers’ Party and past president of Brazil. 

After a tumultuous first term, Bolsonaro, commonly referred to in the media as the “Trump of the tropics,” faces an uphill battle for reelection — with major implications for the Amazon rainforest and climate policy worldwide. 

According to recent polling from the group IPEC, Lula has been picking up steam in the final days of the campaign, solidifying a significant lead. Some 48 percent of polled voters said they currently support Lula; just 31 percent back Bolsonaro. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote on October 2, the election goes to a runoff on October 30. IPEC’s polling indicates that if the election were to take place today, Lula would likely receive 52 percent of the valid vote — after deducting null ballots — which points to a possible first-round victory.

Elected in 2018, Bolsonaro ran on a platform of pro-extraction, anti-I... Read more

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