High-Polling Rightist Candidate Joins Brazil President Race

Presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro holds a little girl as he poses for photos with supporters during the National Social Liberal Party convention where he accepted the party's nomination in July in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo: Leo Correa / Associated Press
Presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro holds a little girl as he poses for photos with supporters during the National Social Liberal Party convention where he accepted the party's nomination in July in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo: Leo Correa / Associated Press

RIO DE JANEIRO — Far-right congressman Jair Bolsonaro formally announced his candidacy for Brazil’s presidential election Sunday, joining a race in which he is currently polling second after jailed ex-President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, who will likely be barred from running.

Thousands of supporters wearing Bolsonaro shirts showed up at the rally cheering, honking air horns, waving flags. Many mimicked guns with their fingers – a hand sign that the former military officer has made popular.

Bolsonaro told the crowd he would change the status quo if he won the election. He spoke about helping police to crack down on crime, filling his Cabinet with military officers and taking Brazil out of the Paris climate accord.

The candidate has not nominated a vice president to run with him yet.