Bolsonaro – Brazil’s Trump Of The Tropics?

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Written By Farid Shojaei

Brazil has elected a new president in Jair Bolsonaro, dubbed the ‘Trump of the Tropics’ for his right wing views.

His election with 55% of the vote marks a marked right turn for politics in Brazil.

After years of infighting and corruption, the man at the helm is a tough talking  populist with a relaxed view on people toting guns…just like America’s President Donald Trump.

The similarities don’t end there.

Bolsonaro stands for…well it’s difficult to tell because just like Trump, his views change with the wind.

Guns, abortion and the economy

Guns are definitely in.

“Every honest citizen, man or woman, if they want to have a weapon in their homes – depending on certain criteria – should be able to have one,” he said during his campaign.

Abortion is out, winning him the support of many Christians.

The economy? The jury is still out on this one.

Many voters in Brazil say they picked Bolsonaro because he was not left wing, not his economic policy.

Bolsonaro seems flexible. He has pledged to cut government waste and to introduce a market-driven economy by reducing state intervention, while stating he would keep state control of ‘strategic’ industries without describing what they are.

“I made a commitment to reduce the number of ministries, extinguish and privatise many of the state-owned companies that exist today,” he wrote on Twitter.

Privatising Petrobas

Bolsonaro also sent mixed messages about the state owned oil company Petrobas.

“Petrobas should sell a substantial portion of its refining, retail, transportation and other activities where it has market power to promote competition,” he said.

Adding the core of the company should remain state controlled and that privatising utility companies could see China taking control.

As president, he must cope with an emerging economy coming out of recession and the strength of the US dollar weighing down on the price of exports.

Outside of politics, Bolsonaro is a former Army officer and member of the Social Liberal Party.

Aged 63 years old, he is married and has five children.

He was unable to campaign properly for the election after he was stabbed and spent time in hospital, which led to missing several live TV debates.