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Can Bolsonaro close the gap on Lula before O… – BNamericas English

President Jair Bolsonaro hopes to motivate as many people as possible to attend a pro-government rally during Brazil’s independence day celebrations on September 7 in the hope of provoking a radical change in the campaign race less than 4 weeks before the elections.
According to the most recent polls, the opposition candidate, former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, is still the front runner with 44% of those surveyed backing him, compared with only 31% supporting Bolsonaro.
The gap has remained stable in recent weeks, which political analysts say is negative for Bolsonaro, due to the proximity of the vote and because he is failing to close the gap on Lula despite having adopted various measures to boost the economy, such as reducing fuel taxes and increasing the sums paid to poor families under the Auxílio Brasil social program.
“Despite some positive factors that could be used by Bolsonaro to gain in the polls, this current presidential election in Brazil has an important element – the opposition candidate is a former president who is also very popular. This explains why we have seen very little change in voting intentions,” Lucas Fernandes, a political analyst at local consulting firm BMJ Consultores Associados, told BNamericas. 
Bolsonaro still hopes to provoke a twist in the scenario, repeatedly calling on his supporters to take to the streets during Brazil’s independence day celebrations in an attempt to demonstrate his public support. 
Last year, the September 7 celebrations were used by Bolsonaro to attack members of the electoral court and the use of electronic voting machines, which raised fears that he might not respect the results of the elections if defeated. 
“We have to carefully monitor the acts tomorrow. If we have a lot of people on the streets, supporting the president, this will be an element that he likely use to discredit the polls should there be an unfavorable result in the October election,” said Fernandes. 
Brazilians go to the polls on October 2 to vote for president, state governors and lawmakers. In the case of the president and state governors, if no candidate obtains more than 50% of the vote, a second round will take place on October 30.
ECONOMY ON THE UP
Bolsonaro is still having difficulty closing the gap on Lula despite positive signs from the economy.
The forecast for economic growth this year jumped to 2.26% from 1.98% a month ago, according to the most recent weekly survey of economists by the central bank.
The upward review in the GDP outlook comes after Brazil posted a better-than-expected economic performance in the second quarter.
Meanwhile, inflation is expected to end the year at 6.61%, compared with a projection of 7.11% just a month ago.
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The central bank is likely to keep its base rate high for a prolonged period.
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