'Wishful thinking': Markets must not mistake Brazil's presidential contenders as pro-business

Brazilian right-wing presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro speaks to supporters during a campaign rally in the district of Ceilandia in Brasilia, on September 5, 2018. - Brazil will hold presidential elections on October 7.

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Brazilian right-wing presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro speaks to supporters during a campaign rally in the district of Ceilandia in Brasilia, on September 5, 2018. – Brazil will hold presidential elections on October 7.

Last week, Brazil’s leading presidential candidate asked his economic advisor Paulo Guedes and his running mate Hamilton Mourao to refrain from making public statements after contradictions emerged over economic policy.

Bolsonaro has previously admitted ignorance over a range of economic issues, thus making him an “unknown entity” ahead of the vote, Caicedo said.

“I don’t think the market should take it at face value that (Bolsonaro) is a pro-business candidate… The main issue here is that there is no clarity about how to tackle the huge fiscal deficit, the pension system — which is in total tatters — and the public debt,” Caicedo added.

Brazilian voters will choose between 13 presidential candidates on Sunday, five of whom could plausibly secure enough votes in first round voting.

But, if — as most external observers expect — no candidate wins a majority this weekend, the top two vote winners will face each other in a run-off vote on October 28.

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