Brazil Candidates Wrap Up Divisive Campaign Pledging Respect

(Bloomberg) -- Brazil’s presidential candidates wrapped up a campaign marked by violence and division by toning down their attacks and calling for respect and compliance with the law.

Front-runner Jair Bolsonaro went on social media to pledge respect for the constitution and civil rights, while Workers Party’s candidate Fernando Haddad visited impoverished communities in his hometown of Sao Paulo to tell supporters there’s still time to pick up more votes and win on Sunday.

Both said the election is far from decided after months of a campaign in which Bolsonaro was stabbed at a rally in September and supporters of each candidate branded rivals as fascists or communists.

“We will change Brazil through upholding our laws and constitution,” Bolsonaro tweeted Saturday morning amid claims from his critics that he might install a military dictatorship once in office -- something he’s repeatedly denied. Speaking later in the day on his Facebook page, Bolsonaro also denied claims that he condoned any act of violence during the campaign.

“People try to make me responsible for things I have nothing to do with,” he said. “I’m the one who got stabbed.”

Haddad, while asking supporters to treat Bolsonaro voters with respect, didn’t hold back when speaking about his opponent himself. “Bolsonaro is a big leap in the dark. He is a risk to our institutions,” he told reporters on Saturday.

A MDA poll released Saturday had Bolsonaro ahead by 14 percentage points in voter intention. Bolsonaro slipped in a Datafolha survey also released on Saturday, with 55 percent of voters’ support, against 45 percent for Haddad.

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