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Major campaign events end as Brazilians prepare to vote
From:Xinhua  |  2018-10-06 15:03

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RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- The Brazilian presidential candidates ended their major campaign events on Friday in the tensest race in recent history.

Friday was the last day for the candidates to make paid ads, and Thursday was the last day for debates. Candidates can still hold minor campaign events until 10:00 p.m. on Saturday local time (0100 GMT Sunday), and on election day Sunday all campaign activities at voting sites will be forbidden.

For the first time since 1989, the presidential election is not just a contest between the Workers' Party (PT) and the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB): though PT is in the race, the PSDB's candidate has given way to far-right Jair Bolsonaro of the conservative Social Liberal Party.

PT had to replace its intended candidate, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, because he was found guilty of corruption and money laundering and is now serving a jail sentence of 12 years.

Though Lula can still appeal to the superior court, he has already started serving the sentence and was barred from running.

PT's new candidate was Lula's running mate, Fernando Haddad, who served as education minister for several years and was also mayor of Brazil's largest city Sao Paulo.

Other major candidates are Ciro Gomes, from the Democratic Labor Party, who served as Lula's integration minister and governor of Ceara state; Marina Silva, from Sustainability Network Party, who was a senator and environment minister; and Geraldo Alckmin, from PSDB, a former governor of Sao Paulo state. Another eight candidates are also fighting for the presidency.

The presidential race saw an attack on Bolsonaro on Sept. 6 when he was stabbed in the intestines during a campaign event. The attacker was immediately arrested and the police concluded that he was a lone wolf who acted out of political motivation.

Bolsonaro was severely injured in the attack, and had been hospitalized until last week.

The government is using a command center first used in 2013 when the country hosted the FIFA Confederations Cup, to coordinate security and logistics efforts, and ensure the tranquility of the election process.

Some 24,000 people, among policemen, military officers, traffic officers and electoral court agents, will provide security and be in charge of transporting and distributing the electronic ballots.

In addition to a new president and vice president, Brazilian voters will choose new governors, senators, and state and federal representatives in Sunday's elections.