US Senator Sanders calls for respect before the presidential election in Brazil

US Senator Bernie Sanders on Thursday urged Brazilians of all stripes to respect the outcome of the presidential election and reject political violence, in a message tweeted by his left-winger Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Former President Lula, who leads the polls, will face incumbent Jair Bolsonaro in a first round of voting on Sunday.

“As the largest democracy in Latin America, your nation is an important example for the world of a stable and fair electoral system,” Sanders said in a recorded message.

“It’s a world where both the winners and losers of elections must respect the results and where political violence or the threat of political violence is always unacceptable.”

Sanders wanted to convey to Brazilians the importance of voting “at a time when democracies are under attack around the world and we’re seeing nations moving towards authoritarianism.”

On Wednesday, the US Senate passed a Sanders-backed resolution emphasizing that Washington will “not support any government that comes to power by undemocratic means” amid fears Bolsonaro would not accept a loss and foment violence.

The far-right president said “only God” could unseat him and his re-election bid could have only one of three outcomes: “prison, death or victory”.