'Tropical Trump' Far-Right Candidate Bolsonaro Wins Brazil Election

Add Brazil to the list of countries embracing far-right authoritarian politics.

Former Army captain Jair Bolsonaro won the country's presidential election on Sunday, riding a wave of frustration over corruption and crime that brought a dramatic swing to the right in the world's fourth-largest democracy, official results show.

With 94 per cent of the ballots counted, Bolsonaro had 56 per cent of the votes in the run-off election against left-wing hopeful Fernando Haddad of the Workers Party (PT), who had 44 per cent, according to the electoral authority TSE.

Bolsonaro's rise has been propelled by rejection of the leftist PT that ran Brazil for 13 of the last 15 years and was ousted two years ago in the midst of a deep recession and political graft scandal.

Brazil's right-wing presidential candidate for the Social Liberal Party (PSL) Jair Bolsonaro gives his thumb up after casting his vote during the general elections, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on October 7, 2018. MAURO PIMENTEL/AFP/Getty Images)

Many Brazilians are concerned that Bolsonaro, an admirer of Brazil's 1964-1985 military dictatorship and a defender of its use of torture on leftist opponents, will trample on human rights, curtail civil liberties and muzzle freedom of speech.

The 63-year-old seven-term congressman has vowed to crack down on crime in Brazil's cities and farm belt by granting police more autonomy to shoot at criminals.

He also wants to let more Brazilians buy weapons to fight crime.

In a highly unusual moment, the chief justice of Brazil's supreme court, Jose Dias Toffoli, read out part of the constitution to reporters after he voted.

(MAURO PIMENTEL/AFP/Getty Images)

"The future president must respect institutions, must respect democracy, the rule of law, the judiciary branch, the national congress and the legislative branch," Toffoli said, in remarks many took to be a rebuke of Bolsonaro and his more extreme positions.

His leftist rival Fernando Haddad, standing in for the jailed PT founder and former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has been trailing Bolsonaro since the first-round vote three weeks ago.

A massive graft scandal involving the oil giant Petrobras, soaring crime and the 2015-16 recession have favoured the rise of Bolsonaro, dubbed "Brazil's Donald Trump".

The country has not previously seen a powerful right-wing movement since the end of military rule in 1985.

Bolsonaro has been a congressman since 1991, but he presents himself as a political outsider and has pledged to carry out "a clean-up never before seen in the history [of Brazil]."

Bolsonaro voted early on Sunday in a military district in Rio de Janeiro, greeted by supporters shouting "legend" and "president".

"The expectation today is the same as I saw in the streets: victory," Bolsonaro said, briefly addressing reporters.

Many Brazilians are concerned that Bolsonaro, an admirer of Brazil's 1964-1985 military dictatorship and a defender of its use of torture on leftist opponents, will trample on human rights, curtail civil liberties and muzzle freedom of speech.

The 63-year-old seven-term congressman has vowed to crack down on crime in Brazil's cities and farm belt by granting police more autonomy to shoot at criminals.

He also wants to let more Brazilians buy weapons to fight crime.