Home / News / World /  World awaits as Brazil votes to elect new president

Agni Paganini Calvo, a 23-year-old Brazilian translator living in New Delhi, on Sunday joined over 155 million Brazilians in voting to elect Brazil’s next president by casting his vote at the Embassy of Brazil here.

This election cycle, which ends on Sunday, is widely expected to end the reign of the incumbent right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro and pave the way for the return of former left-wing President Lula da Silva.

Both Bolsonaro and Lula are no strangers to India and bilateral ties have flourished under both men. While the latter visited India thrice during his tenure as President, Bolsonaro was the chief guest on India’s Republic Day in 2020.

Economic activity has expanded at a steady clip and both sides are confident that bilateral trade will hit the $15 billion mark this year. As energy inflation has ravaged economies and markets are roiled by uncertainty, New Delhi and Brasilia have increasingly looked to each other to forge new energy partnerships.

Brazil has over 155 million voters with elections on to chose its president, governors, senators, federal deputies and state deputies in the Brazilian elections. While voting is held in 5,570 localities in Brazil, 181 cities abroad, including Delhi and Mumbai, also play host to polling booths for Brazilians.

“We elected Bolsonaro democratically and we will take him down the same way. I do not believe these elections will go to the second round but if it does it will be a landslide for Lula," said Calvo who speaks fluent Hindi and has lived in Delhi for over a decade.

Brazilians are allowed to vote in the presidential election from abroad.  In Brazil, however, voting is going on for one-third of the senate for all governors and all members of the parliament along with the president.

André Aranha Corrêa do Lago, the Brazilian ambassador to India, told Mint that there are about 2,000 Brazilians residing in India and that about 104 Brazilians are expected to vote in New Delhi.

“This election is particularly important because there is a very strong division in the country. There is a perception by many that there is a very strong left wing and right wing. There are those who see that some institutions may be threatened by the decision of the government. Others fear that the left wing can be like the left in other Latin American countries that have led to extremes," said the Brazilian envoy. 

“Brazilians migrated enormously after the 1990s. For a certain number of years, we did not have a vote for president. During the military regime, we had to vote for the governor, and members of parliament but we did not have this. So, voting for president has become a very symbolic thing in the 1980s and we have established this structure so that people who want to vote can vote," the Ambassador added.

Yasmin Faria, a Brazilian voter who works at an Indian IT company, said that this election is about fighting fascism, misogyny and racism.

“I am feeling hopeful about these elections. If Lula wins, it would mean a new start. We had four years of a devastating government that made 33 million people starve again in the country. And they did not even acknowledge that. So, I hope for a government that cares for people again," Faria said. 

Voting will close on Sunday evening after which the Embassy’s diplomats will carefully extract the machine’s memory drive, which resembles a USB. Its contents are securely shared with election authorities in Brazil and are instantly counted. The results would be shared immediately on an app along with information such as voting percentage and margin. 

The results would be shared immediately on Resultados along with information such as voting percentage and margin.

The Indian Oil Corporation and Brazil’s PetroBras recently signed a long-term oil supply contract. Cooperation on clean fuels, especially high-grade ethanol, will help diversify India’s energy mix. Brazilian defence firms have also come knocking on New Delhi’s door. 

Taurus Armas SA, a small arms manufacturer, agreed to set up a manufacturing facility in Haryana while aviation giant Embraer is looking to break into India’s commercial and defence aviation market.

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