Brazil election: Bolsonaro and Lula trade insults in first debate

Brazil’s right-wing President, Jair Bolsonaro, and leftist leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva have taken part in a fiery first television debate ahead of October’s general election.

Mr Bolsonaro accused the former president of having led the most corrupt government in Brazil’s history.

Lula, in turn, said Mr Bolsonaro had destroyed Brazil.

Opinion polls suggest Lula – who served as president from 2003 to 2010 – is ahead in the election race.

But the gap between the two candidates seems to be narrowing.

On Sunday, the two frontrunners appeared on TV in São Paulo along with four other presidential candidates.

Mr Bolsonaro, 67, wasted no time in targeting Lula, 76. “Your government was the most corrupt in Brazilian history,” he said.

The insult was a reference to Lula being convicted of corruption and jailed in 2018. The corruption scandal came to be known as Operation Car Wash and involved the state-run oil giant Petrobas.

The judgement against Lula was later overturned.

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