A series of pro-Democracy protests have taken place at universities across Brazil today in response to concerns that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro may dispute the Presidential election result in the event of a Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva victory in October.
- The protests come as Bolsonaro closes the polling gap to Lula following a tax cut on fuel and announcement of a multi-billion dollar government assistance package.
- A FSB poll this week showed Bolsonaro strengthening in a second round runoff: Second round Lula (PT, centre-left): 57% (-3) Bolsonaro (PL, right): 43% (+3)
- The poll still has Lula with a commanding lead but that is expected to tighten further as the government assistance package is dispersed.
- Another eye catching poll today from Brazil's most populous state Sao Paulo shows Bolsonaro and Lula statistically tied. This poll may indicate a broader shift back to Bolsonaro. Bloomberg writes that, "the state of Sao Paulo is potential harbinger of national trends."
- On the university protests, Claudio Ferraz of Nexta Journal: "Massive movement in many universities across Brazil today in favor of democracy, fair elections and against Bolsonaro daily threats. Important politicians, economists, members of civil societies, artists, NGO. Great show of force against Bolsonaro authoritarian threats."
- A open letter entitled: "Letter to Brazilians in defense of the Democratic Rule of Law!" has close to 1 million signatories including dozens of government officials, members of Congress, and legal experts is also circulating and can be read in full here: https://www.estadodedireitosempre.com/
- The letter reads: "We are going through a moment of immense danger to democratic normality, risk to the institutions of the Republic and insinuations of contempt for the results of the elections."
Figure 1: Sao Paulo Voting Intentions (Genial Investimentos/Quaest)