Favorite in the polls, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, 76, will visit a Volkswagen factory in the afternoon in his stronghold of Sao Bernardo do Campo, near Sao Paulo (southeast), an industrial area where he was a turner. milling machine, before becoming a trade union leader.
President Bolsonaro will travel to Juiz de Fora, in Minas Gerais (southeast), where he had been close to death in a stabbing attack four years ago.
The former army captain, 67, wanted to push the symbolism down to the smallest detail: he will deliver his speech at midday on a platform installed on the same crossroads where he had been stabbed by an unbalanced man on 6 September 2018.
Security around the main candidates in the election whose first round will take place on October 2 has been considerably reinforced to avoid any incident.
Lula and Bolsonaro no longer travel without bulletproof vests and crowds are strictly controlled.
The left-wing ex-president should have launched his campaign on Tuesday morning at another factory in Sao Paulo, but the event was canceled after his security team identified risks, according to Brazilian media.
The visit to Sao Bernardo do Campo is no less emblematic.
Lula always went there during the key moments of his political career, to reinforce his image as a representative of the workers.told AFP Adriano Laureno, political analyst at the consulting firm Prospectiva.
As for Bolsonaro, he wants to present himself as a ”chosen of God” who survived the attack of 2018, continues this specialist, for whom this election is
the most polarized since the redemocratization after the military dictatorship (1964-1985).
The two favorites have already been crisscrossing the country for several weeks to get in touch with voters, but the official campaign, with public meetings and distribution of leaflets, is only authorized from this Tuesday.
The TV spots will only be aired from August 26.
Bolsonaro questions the reliability of electronic voting
This Tuesday will also be marked in the early evening by the enthronement of Judge Alexandre de Moraes as President of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE).
This Supreme Court magistrate is one of President Bolsonaro’s pet peeves, against whom he ordered the opening of an investigation for disseminating false information about the electoral system.
The Head of State has constantly questioned the reliability of the electronic ballot boxes used in the country since 1996, citing
frauds without ever providing evidence. Attacks which raise fears that he will not recognize the result of the ballot in the event of defeat.
Lula and Bolsonaro have both been invited to the investiture of Judge Moraes and could therefore end this first official day of campaigning together at the headquarters of the TSE, in Brasilia.
Monday evening, a poll by the Ipec institute gave a comfortable advantage to the former left-wing president, with 44% of voting intentions in the first round, against 32% for the current head of state.
At the end of July, an opinion poll by the other benchmark institute, Datafolha, reported a larger gap: 47% for Lula, 29% for Bolsonaro.
Social assistance during the election campaign
The Head of State intends to catch up thanks to the social aid recently approved by Parliament during a controversial amendment to the Constitution which exceptionally authorizes new expenditure during the electoral period.
He played his trump card by putting his wife, Michelle Bolsonaro, in the spotlight, who won over the evangelical electorate with fiery speeches resembling pastor’s sermons.
The president also targeted young people by giving a more than five-hour interview to a popular podcast that has been watched by more than half a million people.
Lula is also trying to rejuvenate his image to regain ground on social networks, where he is far behind Bolsonaro in terms of subscribers.
Supported by many artists, such as pop star Anitta, the former metalworker does not hesitate to publish humorous videos on Tik Tok, the network that is all the rage among young people.