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Far-Right Presidential Candidate Bolsonaro Was the Star Speaker at Event Organized by Market Players

02/07/2018 - 11h57

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IGOR GIELOW
FROM SÃO PAULO

Presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro was the star speaker at an elite event in São Paulo that was organized by market players on Tuesday (the 6th). The organizers ignored the other main presidential candidates who are running against Mr. Bolsonaro.

The congressman spoke for more that an hour at a lunch event, marking the end of the first day of the 19th CEO Conference: an event organized by the BTG Pactual Bank in which bankers investors and the like all convene.

The absence of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Workers' Party) from the presidential race - the Clean Record Law would currently deem the former president ineligible in light of the fact that he was convicted of corruption by an appellate court - means that Mr. Bolsonaro would be in first place with 20% of the vote intention, according to polls conducted by the Datafolha Institute.

None of the candidates who are tied in second, such as Marina Silva (Rede), Ciro Gomes (PDT), Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB) and Luciano Huck (no party) were invited to speak before the 2,500 or so guests who were present at the event.

According to sources who attended the event which was closed to the press, Mr. Bolsonaro was confronted with questions that addressed his interventionist history, his lack of knowledge when it comes to the economy, the increase in terms of his family's assets and how to maintain a governing coalition in the event that he is elected.

According to the sources, he had already prepared all his answers beforehand. He defended a hybrid economic agenda, that was liberal on the one hand, calling for the gradual reform of social security, and interventionist on the other, criticizing the involvement of Chinese companies in mining activities.

He managed to get the audience to laugh after recalling that Dilma Rousseff, the Workers' Party president who was in office during the recession and was impeached in 2016, had a background in economics.

His answers had an adversarial tone: when asked how to deal with Congress, he replied by asking whether the current model of a coalition in Congress led by the president still had any future.

His speech included remarks concerning public safety and moral values. When he finished his speech he received a standing ovation and it took him approximately half an hour to exit the conference room as he stopped to take selfies with attendees at the Hyatt hotel.

One of the businessmen who was present, and a critic of Mr. Bolsonaro, said that what he saw was many shameless Bolsonaro supporters expressing their support for him.

Minister Fernando Coelho Filho (Mines and Energy) opened the event while a separate podium had been set up for another presidential hopeful, former banker João Amoêdo (Novo).

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

Read the article in the original language

Marcus Leoni/Folhapress
Congressman and presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro
Congressman and presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro

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