Brazil’s incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro and election candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called each other liars during a heated televised debate.

The term has been used more than a dozen times by each of the candidates during TV Band’s 90 Minute Meetup and comes ahead of the October 30 presidential run-off.

“You are a liar. You lie every day,” Mr da Silva said during an exchange.

Mr Bolsonaro said, “You can’t come here to tell people those lies.”

Mr da Silva, who served as president between 2003 and 2010 and is best known as Lula, said the country needs a leader to “take care” of them.

He said: “Bolsonaro, you keep lying between your teeth.

“Indeed, I will come back to govern this country because the people need someone to take care of them.”

He also criticized Mr. Bolsonaro for his “negligence” in the treatment of covid pandemicwhich killed 680,000 Brazilians, and for its role in downplaying the severity of the virus and promoting unproven treatments and cures.

Mr. Bolsonaro has also been singled out for the increased deforestation of the Amazon.

Mr da Silva added: “You are playing with deforestation. You are playing with cutting down fences, cutting down trees.”

The corruption scandals involving Mr da Silva’s Workers’ Party were highlighted by Mr Bolsonaro, who said: “He (Mr da Silva) wants to share the biodiversity of the Amazon with the world.

“Instead of saying that the Amazon is ours, you want to share our biodiversity.”

Read more:
Brazil’s rainforest under attack

Earlier this month, Mr da Silva won the first round of elections with 48% of the vote against 43% for Mr. Bolsonaro.

Neither candidate detailed how they would raise the funds needed to expand a more generous welfare program, which they both promised to implement, without violating federal budget rules.

The couple are expected to participate in another televised debate before the election.

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