Author: Alan

The election campaign is online in Brazil

The election campaign is online in Brazil

Guns, God and fake news dominate Brazil’s presidential race

By Euronews

Marlene de Carvalho is in the run to be Brazil’s new president and has the backing of five opposition parties, including her main rival, Geraldo Alckmin, a media baron close to the country’s oldest evangelical church whose political future is at the centre of a bitter contest.

A man dressed in a police uniform walks past a billboard depicting former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva during a campaign rally in São Paulo, Brazil [Reuters]

Brazilians have never elected a woman to the presidency. But in the age of the internet, the election campaign is being fought online in the open for the first time in Brazil’s history.

With two-thirds of the electorate casting a vote in advance, voters are not restricted by what they see on television.

“It’s completely online,” political consultant Cauê Barbosa tells Euronews. “It’s a complete democracy, it’s one that can’t be bought.”

Online campaigning is a trend many of the world’s new democracies are beginning to copy in the fight for democracy, and is a critical element of the democratic fightback in Brazil.

In what could be Brazil’s greatest challenge to its government, there seems to be little to distinguish the two campaigns on the internet.

In the case of the government, the message is simple and direct.

After a disappointing poll showing President Dilma Roussef trailing her challenger, Alckmin, who won the first round of voting with 51.4 per cent of the vote, on Friday, the official campaign message is that a change is in the air.

“There is a big debate between two candidates, and we have to respect the will of the Brazilian people,” says one of three candidates for the presidency for a centrist party, Lula da Silva. “We have to put in front of them an image of Brazil that is worthy of Brazil, not of the corrupt campaign of the government of Dilma Rousseff and the [presidential] candidate from the PT [Democratic Labour Party].”

Dilma Rousseff’s team has repeatedly tried

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