Italy’s populist interior minister and deputy premier Matteo Salvini on Monday lauded far-right former army captain Jair Bolsonaro’s sweeping victory in Brazil’s presidential election, saying the citizens had “sent the left home”.
“In Brazil too, the citizens have sent the left home,” said Salvini, who came to power earlier this year after the centre-left that had ruled Italy since 2013 lost the April national elections.
“We wish you well President Bolsonaro and the friendship between our peoples and governments will be even stronger,” Salvini said.
Bolsonaro won 55.2 percent of the vote against 44.8 percent for Fernando Haddad of the left-wing Workers’ Party in a run-off – a swing to the right after four previous elections won by the left.
Bolsonaro’s pledge to fight crime and corruption following a string of scandals have won him mass support.
Critics are worried by Bolsonaro’s praise of Brazil’s 1964-1985 dictatorship and by his comments on race, women and homosexuality.