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Bolsonaro: I 'admire' Trump

© AFP | Jair Bolsonaro won 46 percent of votes in the first round of Brazil's presidential election

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - 

Jair Bolsonaro, the favorite to win the second round of Brazil's presidential elections, on Thursday declared himself an "admirer" of US President Donald Trump.

Speaking during his first news conference since securing 46 percent of the vote in Sunday's first round -- trailed by leftist Fernando Haddad, who took 29 percent -- populist Bolsonaro also denied being a far-right leader.

"I'm not far-right. Point to me an act of mine that is far-right," he said.

"When I spoke of the migration question, it's because we can't have a country with open borders," he added, a point echoing Trump's anti-immigration rhetoric.

"I'm an admirer of President Trump. He wants a great United States -- I want a great Brazil."

Bolsonaro's detractors highlight his contentious past comments demeaning women and gay people, and speaking in favor of torture and Brazil's 1964-1985 military dictatorship.

© 2018 AFP