Jair Messias Bolsonaro ( Brazilian Portuguese: [ʒaˈiʁ meˈsiɐs bowsoˈnaɾu] ; born March 21, 1955) is a Brazilian politician and former military officer. He was elected president of Brazil in 2018 by the Social Liberal Party (Brazil)​, and has been a member of the Chamber of Deputies by different parties between 1991 and 2018​. [24]​ He was also the congressman who gained the most votes in the general elections of the state of Rio de Janeiro in 2014. [4] A controversial figure in Brazil, he has been known for advocating in favor of far-right and populist political views. [13] [14] [15]

He has a large following on social media. [15]

Political career

Bolsonaro was formerly an army parachutist. In 1988, Bolsonaro entered a public political career by being elected city councilor in the capital city of Rio de Janeiro by the Christian Democratic Party . In the elections of 1990, he was elected federal congressman of the same party. He has been affiliated with several other Brazilian political parties and had seven consecutive terms.

Along with his political career, Bolsonaro has aligned himself to nationalist, conservative, anti-left, anti-communist political views and stances. Bolsonaro openly defends the past militarist regime that had been installed in Brazil in 1964 and its subsequent dictatorship.

In 2014, he was the congressman who gained the most votes in Rio de Janeiro, accounting for 464 thousand votes.

Political views and controversies

Bolsonaro has expressed many far-right political views during his long political career. [16] He strongly advocates against the legalization of same-sex unions and same-sex marriage, whilst expressing statements that some people consider insulting, such as homophobic and violence-inciting, [17] misogynistic and sexist, [18] or racist [19] and anti-refugee [12] remarks. He advocates against affirmative action or quotas for any group, as well as against the decriminalization of drugs. Other controversial political stances expressed by Bolsonaro have been of the defense of the death penalty and of radical interventionism in Brazil by the military, along with an implantation of a Brazilian military government . He said in 1993, only eight years after the return of democracy, that the military regime had led to a more sustainable and prosperous Brazil. He also praised Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori as a role model for his use of military intervention against the judiciary and legislature.

A series of stances and remarks expressed by Bolsonaro directed towards female politician Maria do Rosário , have led to some form of controversy. In one episode, during an interview in which Bolsonaro was expressing his opinion that minors who commit heinous crimes like murder and rape should be treated as adults, Maria do Rosário referred to Bolsonaro as a "rapist", [12] to which, he stated that "I would never rape you because you aren't worth it", resulting in repercussions across some Brazilian political circles and parties. [12] [12] The remarks were highly criticized and Judge Tatiana Dias da Silva ordered Jair Bolsonaro to pay Maria do Rosário 10,000 reais (US$2,560). [18]

During his vote in favor of president Dilma Rousseff's impeachment , Bolsonaro made homage to colonel Brilhante Ustra , an agent of Brazil's military dictatorship . During the dictatorship, Ustra had headed the DOI-CODI torture unit, where Dilma Rousseff alleged that she was tortured. On the same day, Left-wing deputy Jean Wyllys spat at him after his own statement during the same section. The congressman claims to have suffered homophobic offenses, which came from Jair Bolsonaro and his allies. [12] [12]

American journalist Glenn Greenwald referred to Bolsonaro as "the most misogynistic, hateful elected official in the democratic world". [5] News.com.au wondered whether Bolsonaro was "the world’s most repulsive politician". [19]