Bloomberg — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who is gaining ground on his left-wing rival ahead of an Oct. 30 election, said the economy is ready to “take off” and that he plans to keep his current cabinet if he wins.
The socially conservative firebrand is looking to capitalize on momentum from a better-than-expected result in the first round of elections to overtake the front-runner, former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. During a televised interview Friday night, Bolsonaro blamed rampant inflation on the war in Ukraine and said the economy would already be booming if it hadn’t been for the pandemic.
“Brazil is ready. It’s all set to take off next year,” Bolsonaro said, adding that Economy Minister Paulo Guedes will remain in his post.
Bolsonaro has opened the floodgates on public spending in the final stretch of Brazil’s presidential election, launching a flurry of measures meant to improve the perception of the economy. The effort may be paying off. Major polls out this week show Lula’s advantage shrinking, with one indicating that the race is a dead heat.
Bolsonaro said he would accept the results if electoral authorities don’t find “anything abnormal.” The president has cast doubt on Brazil’s electronic voting system in the past, raising concerns about a disputed election.
Lula was scheduled to debate Bolsonaro on Friday night, but Lula canceled, citing conflicts with his schedule. Both candidates are campaigning in Southern Brazil this weekend. Lula is in Minas Gerais, Brazil’s second most populous state, while Bolsonaro is campaigning in Sao Paulo.
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