Jair Bolsonaro, the newly elected president of Brazil, has declared that he will liberate his country from socialism and vowed “to unite the people, rescue the family, respect religions, Judeo-Christian tradition, combat genre ideology and conserve values.
A day before he was sworn in as the president, Bolsonaro announced that he would issue an immediate directive easing gun laws and will fight to cleanse Brazil’s classrooms of “Marxist trash".
Regarded as a far-right firebrand, Bolsonaro won a sweeping victory in Brazil’s presidential election by defeating his leftist opponent and Workers’ Party candidate Fernando Haddad, who was backed by the country’s former President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva. Bolsonaro’s remarkable victory represents a tectonic shift in Brazilian politics that has been historically dominated by left-wing politics.
A former army captain and a paratrooper, Bolsonaro positioned himself as an ‘outsider’ seeking to disrupt the entrenched political elite. He promised to restore order in a country so beset by violent crime that it witnessed number nearly 64,000 cases of last year.
He also pledged to cleanse the Augean stables of a massively corrupt Brazilian political system. A huge economic turmoil in the country also helped him mount a successful presidential campaign.
Bolsonaro also circumvented the mainstream media to a large extent and used social media to promote his message aggressively.
Bolsonaro has also been advocating arming common citizens with guns to protect themselves from criminals. He is expected to issue a decree would make gun possession a lot easier for adults over 25 with no criminal record. He has maintained that allowing "good" people to own guns will deter criminals.
Bolsonaro has called for scrapping Brazil’s human rights minister and creating a minister of “family values.”
Bolsonaro has also often expressed his admiration for the country’s military dictatorship. He has described the period from 1960s until the mid-1980s, when the country was under military dictatorship, as ‘glorious’.
Bolsonaro has packed his Government with ex-military men with a third of the 22 ministerial posts going to them. A US-trained free-market advocate, Paulo Guedes, has been appointed to steer the economic agenda and a star anti-corruption judge, Sergio Moro has been appointed in charge of Justice Ministry.
Critics have also accused the new president of bigotry, misogyny, anti-LGBT view and racism.
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