Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro trails his left-wing challenger in the first round of the country’s Presidential election.
Right winger Bolsonaro won a much better than expected 43% of the vote, while former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva won 48%.
As neither candidate won 50%, the pair will face each other in a runoff election scheduled in four weeks time.
In Dublin, thousands of Brazilians queued to cast their ballot in an election characterised mainly by rancour.
— Mark Shortall (@MarkShortall93) October 2, 2022
Lula, who spent time in jail on charges of corruption that have since been annulled, was described repeatedly as a “thief” by Bolsonaro.
While Bolsonaro has hinted that if he is defeated he will not leave office.
The election was fought on a combination of issues; Bolsonaro’s handling of the pandemic has been widely panned amid one of the highest death tolls in the world.
The surging cost of food prices means that many Brazilian families are struggling and Lula has made much of the nation’s “fundamental right” to enjoy a barbecue.
"I understand there were a lot of votes [cast] because of the condition of the Brazilian people, who feel prices increases, especially basic products. I understand that a lot of people desire change but some changes can be for the worst," Mr Bolsonaro admitted as votes were counted.
“We tried to show this other side in the campaign but it seems like it didn’t register with the most important layers of society.”
The deforestation of the Amazon is another key issue and Bolsonaro polled strongly among farmers who want to develop the country further.
Main image: President Jair Bolsonaro at a medal ceremony in Brasilia, Brazil, 15-08-2019. Image: AP Photo/Eraldo Peres