Tens of thousands gather in pro-Haddad rallies ahead of runoff election in Brazil

In Rio, 70,000 supporters took to the streets; in São Paulo, 20,000 called for defending democracy

São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro |
Nearly 70,000 gathered in Rio last Tuesday to call for defending democracy ahead of Brazil’s highly polarized elections
Nearly 70,000 gathered in Rio last Tuesday to call for defending democracy ahead of Brazil’s highly polarized elections - Ricardo Stuckert

“While Bolsonaro’s victory was supposed to be ‘certain,’ today it is just ‘likely,’ tomorrow it will be ‘possible,’ and on Sunday he will find out he lost,” Brazil’s Workers’ Party candidate Fernando Haddad told 20,000 supporters during a rally in São Paulo Wednesday night, about his far-right adversary in the country’s runoff presidential election, Jair Bolsonaro.

Gathering artists, intellectuals, and activists with social and cultural movements, the atmosphere was optimistic, as the crowd cheered the left-wing presidential hopeful and other supporters who spoke in defense of democracy.

In Rio, approximately 70,000 supporters also took to the streets last Tuesday to support Haddad and his vice presidential running mate, Manuela D’Ávila, as well as representatives of all the parties and people’s movements that are members of the Front for Democracy in Rio de Janeiro State.

The great event against authoritarianism and in defense of rights was also attended by celebrated artists such as rapper Mano Brown, writer Conceição Evaristo, and musicians Chico Buarque and Caetano Veloso.

Haddad’s running mate, D’Ávila spoke about the next one hundred hours to the runoff vote that can decide Brazil's future and asked a question to counter Bolsonaro’s pro-gun remarks and infamous hate speech: “Will our children have guns or books and dreams?”

Cerca de 20 mil pessoas participaram de ato em defesa da democracia - Créditos: José Eduardo Bernardes

Pro-Haddad rally in São Paulo on Wednesday evening gathered nearly 20,000 people to support democracy | José Eduardo Bernardes

In São Paulo, Haddad downplayed the reaction of financial markets to recent opinion polls. “Every time Paulo Guedes’ candidate drops, stock markets drop too. Because, if they win, they will sell everything. And they know that, if we win, we will not sell our pre-salt oil fields, we will not sell the Amazon, we will not make war against neighboring countries. We promote peace and democracy in the continent,” the Workers’ Party candidate said.

The latest opinion poll by pollster Ibope, released on Tuesday, showed the gap between Bolsonaro and Haddad closed by four percentage points since Oct. 15.

Edited by: Daniel Giovanaz and Jaqueline Deister