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Brazil Election: Bolsonaro And Lula Trade Insults In First Debate.



Brazil’s far-right President, Jair Bolsonaro, and left-wing former leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva have taken part in a fiery first television debate ahead of October’s general election.

Mr Bolsonaro accused the ex-president of having led the most corrupt government in Brazil’s history.

Lula, in turn, said Mr Bolsonaro had destroyed Brazil.

Opinion polls suggest Lula – who served as president from 2003 to 2010 – is ahead in the election race.

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But the gap between the two candidates seems to be narrowing.

On Sunday, the two frontrunners appeared on TV in São Paulo along with four other presidential candidates.

Mr Bolsonaro, 67, wasted no time in targeting Lula, 76. “Your government was the most corrupt in Brazilian history,” he said.

He also repeatedly called Lula an “ex-convict” in reference to Lula being convicted of corruption and jailed in 2018.

Lula took exception to the label, stressing that his conviction had been overturned by the Supreme Court.

But Mr Bolsonaro did not let up his criticism of the Lula Administration. “It was a kleptocracy, a government based on robbery,” he said, referring to Operation Car Wash, a corruption scandal involving Brazil’s state-run oil giant Petrobras.

“What do you want to come back to power for? To do the same thing to Petrobras again?” he added.

Lula, in turn, said his government should be remembered for helping to lift tens of millions of people out of poverty and accused President Bolsonaro of trashing that legacy.

He said the current president was “destroying” the country.

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