The far-right Bolsonaro has questioned Brazil’s electronic voting system and expressed concern over his plans to contest the results.
Brazilian presidential frontrunner Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has said he hopes his far-right rival, incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro, will accept an election loss as Brazilian voters prepare to head to the polls in less than a week.
Lula said at a news conference in Sao Paulo on Monday that if he wins the hard-fought match, he hoped Bolsonaro will “have a moment of sanity and call me to accept the election results”.
“If Bolsonaro loses and he wants to cry…I’ve lost three elections,” said Lula, who served two terms as president from 2003 to 2010. “Every time I lost, I went home. I didn’t keep swearing, being excited.”
Brazilians will go back to the polls on October 30, after Lula defeated Bolsonaro in a first round of voting on October 2, but fell short of what he needed to avoid a second round.
For months, experts have expressed concern that Bolsonaro will not accept the results of one of the most divisive elections in Brazil’s history.
The former army captain has repeatedly said without evidence that the country’s electronic voting system is vulnerable to fraud, fueling fears that he intends to challenge the outcome, much like former US President Donald Trump, whom he imitated.
Legal experts have dismissed Bolsonaro’s fraud claims as baseless.
Recent polls show Lula is ahead of Bolsonaro ahead of Sunday’s second round vote, but polls ahead of the first round underestimate support for Bolsonaro, sparking backlash and mistrust.
An IPEC poll on Monday showed Lula received 50 percent support, compared to 43 percent for Bolsonaro, while another AtlasIntel poll showed the left-wing former leader with 52 percent against Bolsonaro’s 46.2 percent.
That’s a 51.1 percent increase for Lula and 46.5 percent for Bolsonaro, according to an earlier AtlasIntel poll two weeks ago.
The most recent poll was concluded before a shooting incident on Sunday involving Bolsonaro supporter and former Congressman Roberto Jefferson, raising concerns about the president’s campaign negatively impacting opinion polls, a senior aide said.
The changes for both candidates were less than the margin of error of one percentage point, but with Sunday’s election, even a stable race on this point is in favor of leader Lula.
“The poll is good news for Lula,” said AtlasIntel chief executive Andrei Roman.
Jefferson’s failed Supreme Court-ordered arrest for insulting one of his judges exposed the mounting political violence in the election.
On Sunday, when federal police officers went to Jefferson’s home, he opened fire on their car and threw stun grenades. Two officers were injured.