Presidential candidate Bolsonaro wants limits on Brazil privatizations

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Ultra-rightwing lawmaker Jair Bolsonaro (pictured) may impose limits on the privatization of state-run companies if he wins the presidential elections in October.

A retired army captain, the controversial politician is running second in the latest election polls.

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"We can't deliver our mineral wealth, our arable land, our subsoil, our transmission lines, our hydroelectric dams to a foreign country. I'm privatizing, but what's strategic has to be preserved. We should not start with privatization in every case," said Bolsonaro in a speech posted on his official Facebook account.

On Tuesday Bolsonaro signed on to be the presidential candidate for the small conservative PSL party.

The frontrunner is former leftist president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, but Lula may not be able to run since an appeals court upheld a corruption conviction against him.

The charismatic leader, who ruled the country from 2003-11, has the support of 33.4% of prospective voters, according to the latest survey from the MDA polling institute, published by the national transport confederation (CNT).

Bolsonaro obtained 16.8% of the potential votes in the survey, while former environment minister Marina Silva came in third with 7.8% of support.

Bolsonaro also said he is not an expert on economic issues.

"I recognize that I do not understand economics issues very well and it is a merit to say that I do not know. Better to recognize than to do wrong things," he said. The lawmaker wants to reduce the public sector bureaucracy and implement a single nationwide tax in order to do away with Brazil's complex system of multiple taxes on the federal, state and city-levels.

Among Bolsonaro's controversial ideas are allowing the general public to purchase guns and his wish to see more former military members as lawmakers in congress.