Jair Bolsonaro, leader of the right-wing Partido Social Liberal (PSL), won the Brazilian presidential election on Sunday, October 28, defeating Fernando Haddad (Partido dos Trabalhadores; PT) following a campaign season marred by acts of political violence. Though voting largely took place without incident across the country, PT protesters rallied on Avenida Paulista in São Paulo on Sunday night (local time), with police arresting at least three demonstrators and firing tear gas to disperse the protest.
Additional pro- and anti-Bolsonaro demonstrations are possible in major Brazilian cities in the near term. Heightened security measures and localized traffic disruptions are to be expected near protest sites. Clashes between rival political demonstrators, as well as between demonstrators and police, cannot be ruled out.
Bolsonaro won 55 percent of votes in the October 28 presidential election runoff against PT candidate Fernando Haddad and is slated to take office on January 1, 2019. Bolsonaro is a controversial candidate who has previously criticized democracy and supported extrajudicial violence. Haddad replaced popular former President Luiz Inácio Lula de Silva as the PT candidate after the latter was ruled ineligible to run due to corruption charges.
Individuals in Brazil are advised to stay abreast of the political situation, avoid all political gatherings due to the risk of violence, and refrain from discussing politically-sensitive topics, including the election, in public.
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