After the most divisive election in the 33 years since the end of the dictatorship in Brazil, former army captain Jair Bolsonaro has been elected Brazil’s 38th president. A year ago he was unknown outside Brazil. Called "the Trump of the tropics", he has polarised Brazilian society in a fashion like what Donald Trump has done in the US.

It is difficult to pin Bolsonaro down. For his supporters, he is the one who will end corruption and bring back law and order in Brazil. For his opponents he is a dictator in waiting, a misogynist, racist and homophobe, among other unflattering epithets. So, why did he win? Brazilian society was fed up after years of corruption, which plunged the country into its worst recession in decades, and of violent crime. And they blamed the Workers Party, which governed Brazil from 2003 until the controversial impeachment of former president Dilma Rousseff in 2016. Bolsonaro’s election promise that police would be allowed to shoot criminals, citizens wo...

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