Bolsonaro and Lula jabs at each other in debate
Brasilia, Sep 30: Tens of millions of Brazilians watched as the country's two main presidential candidates along with five other contenders exchanged accusations of corruption in their last debate before the country heads to Sunday's election.
Major opinion polls show former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva with a lead of 10 to 15 percentage points over incumbent Jair Bolsonaro in the first round of voting.
What did the candidates say?
Bolsonaro called da Silva the boss of a criminal gang that ran a "kleptocracy" during his two-term presidency from 2003 to 2010. He also called da Silva a "liar, ex-inmate and traitor."
Leftist da Silva, also commonly known as Lula, called his far-right opponent Bolsonaro a "shameless" liar whose government had covered up graft in the purchase of vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic. "It's ugly for the president of the republic to blatantly lie all the time," he said of Bolsonaro.
He also promised to crack down on illegal mining, in the debate on Globo TV.
Da Silva also said he would lift the 100 years of secrecy Bolsonaro declared on the Health Ministry's negotiations of COVID-19 vaccines and investigations into alleged financial misdeeds by the president's sons "to see what he is hiding."
Centrist candidate Simone Tebet of the Brazilian Democratic Movement party (MDB) criticized both men for exchanging personal attacks and having no plans to tackle unemployment and rising hunger.
She has announced plans to reverse Bolsonaro's environmental policies that have led to a rise in deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.
Bolsonaro, 67, is banking on his evangelical and business-centric support base. His campaign got a boost on Thursday with a TikTok video from football star Neymar endorsing him.
Da Silva, 76, is appealing to the poor, minorities, and anti-Bolsonaro voters. After being jailed for 18 months for corruption, he has made a huge comeback into politics.