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An ultra-right-wing populist is poised to assume the presidency of the

world’s fourth-largest democracy. Jair Bolsonaro, a former army captain,


won more than 46 percent of the vote during the first round of Brazil’s
presidential election on Sunday. He will face the runner-up, Fernando
Haddad of the Workers’ Party in a runoff on Oct. 28. Mr. Haddad secured
just 27 percent of the vote. Even if all other leftist and centrist candidates
endorse him, he will struggle to stop Mr. Bolsonaro’s ascent.
Brazilians are frustrated, (1) _____ and angry. Well before Mr. illusion
Bolsonaro’s rise, they were protesting against cynical politics, spiraling
corruption, economic stagnation and breathtaking levels of crime.
Although recent polls suggest that most Brazilians support democracy,
they are more (2) _____ than ever. More than half admit that they would unite
“go along” with a (3) _____ government if it “solved problems.” (Mr. democracy
Bolsonaro is among them. He is also on record saying he would not
accept the outcome of an election where he is not declared the winner.)
Brazil’s democracy is teetering on the edge, but its collapse is not (4)
_____. Its rejuvenation will demand foresight, humility, tolerance and avoid
the courage to confront what appear to be (5) _____ differences. No surmount
matter who wins the second round, the coming weeks and months will
see polarization (6) ____ and the tide of hatred rising. This does not deep
make the pursuit of a progressive middle ground and real solutions to
Brazil’s problems any less important.
The election underlines the scale of Brazil’s divisive politics. The
country’s political polarization is deeply personal, cutting across age,
gender and class. Many friends and family members are openly
wondering whether their relatives or colleagues who supported Mr.
Bolsonaro were always closet authoritarians. And those who did not
support him are visibly nervous, (7) _____ of the violent resentment that fear
his campaign (8) _____. leash
Mr. Bolsonaro’s success owes much to his power to divide. Many of his
core followers are committed to his corruption-busting and communist-
combating crusade. Others, including middle-class women, are attracted
to his “tough on crime” message. And some of the country’s business
elite see in Mr. Bolsonaro, along with his running mate, the retired army
general Antonio Hamilton Mourão, and his pro-market financial adviser,
Paulo Guedes, a bulwark against the return of the left-wing Workers’
Party and its jailed leader, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

By Bel Chavantes/adapted from The New York Times/October 2018