Nearly 147 million Brazilians will head to the polls on October 7 for the first round of what could be the most important elections in the country’s history. At stake are Brazil’s presidency, all 27 state governorships, most of the seats in Congress – including two-thirds of the 81-member upper-house Senate and all 513 places in the lower-house Chamber of Deputies – and 1,059 positions within state legislatures. Crushed by years of recession, corruption and political unrest, the country’s economy is a disaster, GDP shrank by 10% in 2014-2016 and the unemployment rate is 12%. Brazilians are divided and disillusioned. All eyes are on ultraconservative former army captain Jair Bolsonaro, who openly defends Brazil’s authoritarian past, rejects political correctness and promises to upend the establishment. If no candidate wins a majority in the first ballot – which is expected to happen – that would set up an October 28 runoff between the two top finishers, in which Bolsonaro would probably be in a struggle against left-winger Fernando Haddad. What to expect from this election? Is Brazil’s young democracy really under threat? And what about the country’s fragile economy? Will the outcome of this vote affect Brazil’s regional and international relations?