Lula and Bolsonaro offered crowd baths in two different places, 10km from each other, with a strong security device.

The far-right president had made an appointment with his supporters on Saturday morning at the Barra beach lighthouse, the starting point of a procession of dozens of motorcycles along the coast, in the south of the city.

“What is at stake (during the October ballot) is our well-being and our freedom,” chanted Mr. Bolsonaro, mounted on a platform to harangue the crowd before getting on a two-wheeler.

“We will overcome together (…) and paint the streets of our dear city of Salvador green and yellow,” added the former army captain, cheered by hundreds of people dressed mostly in yellow jerseys. of the Brazilian national football team.

At the same time, Lula was at Largo da Lapinha, 10 km further north, where a procession (on foot) was taking place to celebrate the anniversary of the independence of the State of Bahia.

The last soldiers of the Portuguese colonizer were expelled from Salvador on July 2, 1823, just under a year after Brazil declared independence.

The left-wing ex-president (2003-2010) took part in the procession in the middle of a compact crowd dressed in red who sang “olé, olé olé, Lula, Lula!” in its path.

Several hundred people then welcomed him at a meeting in the parking lot of the Fonte Nova stadium, which hosted World Cup matches in 2014.

During a speech of about half an hour, at the beginning of the afternoon, Lula praised “the extraordinary capacity of resistance of the Brazilian people (…) to survive the policy of mass destruction of the government current”.

According to him, the Bolsonaro government “deepened inequalities, devastated the environment (…) and condemned Brazil to international isolation”.

“We did a lot when we were in power, (…) but we will have to do even more,” he concluded, ending his speech by waving a Brazilian flag.

“With Lula, our hope is back. Today is a first step towards victory, so that Brazil can finally be reborn,” Viviane Correa, who attended the meeting, told AFP. .

According to the latest poll by the benchmark institute Datafolha, published last week, Lula was credited with 47% of voting intentions, against 28% for Bolsonaro.

Two other candidates were also present on Saturday morning for Bahia’s independence festivities in Salvador, Ciro Gomes (center-left), ranked third in the Datafolha poll (8%) and Senator Simone Tebet (center-right, 1% ).