Sao Paulo – Fernando Haddad, the left-wing candidate in Brazil's presidential run-off, on Saturday accused his far-right opponent Jair Bolsonaro of "fomenting violence" and being a threat to democracy in an interview exclusive to AFP.
"My opponent foments violence, including the culture of rape. He told a member that he would not rape her because she did not deserve it. Want a stronger signal?", launched Haddad, recalling the words of his opponent against the left MP Maria do Rosario, in 2014.
"Arming the people will not solve anything, it is the state that must take care of public security", added the candidate of the Workers Party (PT), in reference to a flagship proposal of Bolsonaro, favorite of the second round of October 28, to liberalize the carrying of weapons while the country knows an outbreak of violence.
Fernando Haddad, who obtained 29% of the votes in the first round of October 7th, far behind a Bolsonaro at 46%, still believes in his chances, even if the first poll of the between-two rounds gives the candidate of far right winner (58% vs. 42%).
"This person is leading the polls, but she will lose", assured the former mayor of Sao Paulo.
– "Institutional problem"-
"He has always incited violence, imagine a person whose hero is one of the greatest torturers on the continent", he insisted on a tribute in the past by Bolsonaro to a senior officer accused of torture during the dictatorship (1964-85).
"How can a person who advocates intolerance promise security?", continued the one who replaced as ex-PT candidate former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, imprisoned for corruption and declared ineligible.
A series of assaults last week of leftist activists attributed to Bolsonarists worried Brazil and Bolsonaro had to call his supporters calm.
For Haddad, the ex-captain of the armyhas very few proposals"to solve security problems.
"Security is an institutional problem and it must be resolved through a reform that will give new powers to the federal police"to coordinate the fight against organized crime," he said.
In Brazil, the security forces are under the responsibility of each of the 27 states, without any real coordination at the national level, despite the recent creation of a Ministry of Public Security.
To a question about the risks of a new military coup in Brazil, he replied: "your question is indicative of the times we live in Brazil, with threats to democracy. This is very serious".
"We must be able to turn the tide, because it is the rights of the people that are at stake today"he insisted.
– Lula "very satisfied"-
Fernando Haddad admitted that the PT "made mistakesduring his 13 years in power (2003-2016).corruption is an intolerable thing"in Brazil, promising to"strengthen internal controls in public enterprises".
Since 2014, the operation "Wash-express", the largest anti-corruption investigation in Brazilian history, revealed a huge network of embezzlement related to state-owned companies, including the oil company Petrobras.
The scandals have splashed almost all traditional parties, including the Lula PT, which has been serving a 12-year sentence and a month in prison since April, even though it fiercely denies any wrongdoing.
Sometimes accused of being a "marionette"Of Lula, whom he visited in his prison every Monday in recent weeks, Mr. Haddad denies receiving any recommendation from his mentor during his visit the day after his qualification.
"He was just very satisfied that I went to the second round", he revealed, recalling that he had to jump on the campaign bandwagon just a month before the first round, when Lula, who had become ineligible, threw in the towel.
"Nobody thought I would get to the second round. I got 29% of the votes, I have 42% of voting intentions, so I find that in one month we did a great job"he concluded.