Brazil election: Bolsonaro, Trump of Tropics, not conceding Lula win


RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil and president-elect Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, winners of Sunday’s elections, woke up on Monday to face a familiar question to Americans: Will the loser yield?

President Jair Bolsonaro has disappeared from public view since 8 p.m. Sunday, following a bitter battle that has deepened divisions in Latin America’s largest country in Brazil’s most tense presidential election in history. final round. Bolsonaro, a close ally of former President Donald Trump and known for his fiery rhetoric and inflammatory messages on social media, has opted for silence, a highly unusual response for him.

“Start-up [Monday] We need to know how to govern this country,” said Lula told supporters late Sunday. “We need to know if the president we defeated will allow a change of government.”

Lula beats Bolsonaro to win third term as president of Brazil

On Monday afternoon, Brazilian news agency Folha de São Paulo reported that Bolsonaro’s allies had drafted a concession speech, which the president planned to submit on Monday. The content of the speech was unclear. Bolsonaro was expected to claim that he was the victim of injustice, but did not contest the results.

But as of Monday night, Bolsonaro has yet to speak out, even as his supporters have set up 200 roadblocks in 18 states and observers have warned of the possibility of further unrest. In a telegram group, Bolsonaro supporters were calling for the capture of more highways, thoroughfares and entrances to military barracks on Tuesday.

The Federal Highway Police — a close ally of Bolsonaro and said to have delayed Sunday’s vote in an area with strong Lula support — said it had sent troops to the protests. But amid allegations that they failed to act, federal prosecutors have requested further information about their response.

As tensions escalated and Bolsonaro’s intentions remained uncertain, Supreme Court Justice Alexandre Demoraies, the country’s top elections official, said police had “everything needed” to lift the highway blockade. He demanded the use of “means of

On Monday, the president’s eldest son, Brazilian Senator Flavio Bolsonaro, tweeted, “Dad, for better or for worse, I’m with you.”

For many here, Bolsonaro’s delay comes as little surprise. The president, his son and his supporters have spent months laying the groundwork to challenge the defeat in unsupported election fraud allegations. questioned electronic voting, claiming last week that the radio station violated national law by giving more time during Lula’s campaign.

Election officials dismissed all these claims as fictitious and called Sunday’s election safe and valid. If I had to choose one, Irregular checkpoints set up by police with ties to Bolsonaro Voters apparently delayed going to the polls in Lula-loyal territory on Sunday.

Former Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva won the October 30 presidential election, defeating incumbent Jair Bolsonaro after a hard-fought campaign. (Video: Julie Yuen/Washington Post)

Analysts say Bolsonaro followed much of Trump’s playbook during his rise to power and could do the same in defeat.

“This is the Trump model,” said political analyst and author Marcos Nobre. .”

His loss comes as the specter of a criminal investigation hangs over him and his family.

Even when Bolsonaro resisted acknowledging the outcome, the world accepted it. “We don’t discuss the sovereignty of other countries,” Bolsonaro told reporters. “But Trump was doing really well.”

Biden immediately threw Washington’s endorsement into Lula’s corner, publicly congratulating the 77-year-old left-wing icon shortly after Sunday’s victory, and spoke with him on the phone Monday.

“President Biden, following free, fair and credible elections, praised the strength of Brazil’s democratic institutions,” the White House said in a statement. We are committed to continuing our work as partners to address common challenges such as combating global warming, protecting food security, promoting inclusion and democracy, and managing migration in the region.”

Other leaders rallied at Lula. Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez was scheduled to meet Lula in Brazil on Monday. Lula’s “victory opens a new era in Latin American history. A time of hope and future that begins today,” Fernandez said on Twitter. , we have a partner to make big dreams come true.”

Bolsonaro, like Trump, has a support base. Some supporters began blocking Brazilian highways late Sunday demanding he refuse to yield.

It included one of the main highways connecting Brazil’s largest metropolitan area, São Paulo, with Rio de Janeiro. On Monday, Brasilia’s military police announced they had blocked roads leading to the capital’s main government buildings.

A lawmaker representing truck drivers said the roadblocks were the work of “category unrepresentative criminals”. “The parliamentary group of independent truck drivers does not support any kind of demonstration against the outcome of the election!” Nereu Crispim tweeted. After Sunday’s results, a Rio Grande do Sul state congressman said democracy had won and “hate is gone”.

Brazilian police accused of suppressing Lula’s vote

The company that manages Mato Grosso’s highways said at least four roads were blocked. “Lula will not be our president,” one woman said in a video posted by news agency O Globo.

Bolsonaro has several options. Like President Trump in 2020, will he hold on tight, call for vote audits, and create a constitutional crisis? Will he cement his position as Brazil’s most powerful opposition leader since the resurgence of Islam? Complicating Lula’s job by using his massive social media platform as a pulpit for bullies Or, as some have suggested, will he leave Brazil to avoid possible criminal prosecution?

Brazilian media reported that Bolsonaro was described as “sad and disheartened” and expressed outrage at the outcome, a close adviser said. TV Globo has suggested that the president’s allies, fearing they were going to waste an impressive conservative turnout ahead of Sunday’s victory, are pressuring the president to recognize the results as soon as possible. .

In public, however, his closest inner circle remains largely his mother. “It is time to disarm our minds and reach out to our enemies,” said House Speaker Arthur Lira. “We reaffirm our commitment to fairness, stability and public opinion. We cannot accept retaliation and persecution from any side. Now is the time to look ahead.”

Moraes, the top election official, told reporters late Sunday that he had called both candidates to inform them of the election results before the winner was announced. ‘We did,’ he said.

Moraes He described the election as a clean and safe one, insisting there was no “real risk” that the results could be contested. “This is part of the rule of law,” he said.

“There is great polarization and now it is up to the winner to unite the country,” he said.

“Three hours after the polls closed, nearly 99% of the votes were tallied, and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was mathematically elected President of Brazil, winning more than 50% of the votes cast.” Attorney General Augusto Arras said critics said in a statement Sunday night that he had defended Bolsonaro from a corruption probe.

Sergio Moro, the prosecutor’s judge who sent Lula to prison on charges that were later dropped, was later appointed Bolsonaro’s minister of justice and is now an elected senator after a dropout.

“Let’s work for the unity of those who want the interests of our country,” he tweeted. “I am always on the right side! I will be in opposition in 2023.”

Evangelical pastor Cyrus Malafia, one of Bolsonaro’s strongest allies, acknowledged the “will of the sovereign.”

“My prayer is to intercede for the composed authorities as the Bible says,” he tweeted. “God save Brazil from social, political and economic chaos.” please give me.”

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Others demanded that Bolsonaro reject the results.Pro-Bolsonaro lawmaker Carla Zamberg, who pointed a gun at an unarmed black man after a political debate in São Paulo on Saturday, said the truck driver She shared a video of protesters setting tires on fire to block a highway in Goiás. She tweeted last night when the protests started.

In a pre-election video statement, Trump endorsed Bolsonaro as “one of the greats of all politics and national leadership.”

“There is no way the electronic ballot box will be correct,” Steven K. Bannon, a former Trump strategist and Bolsonaro supporter, told Folla de São Paulo. “We need a vote-by-vote audit, even if it takes six months. During that time, the president should not agree to resign.”

According to Luis Carlos dos Santos Gonçalves, a federal prosecutor and scholar of Brazilian election law, there are legal avenues to challenge the election. But they will all be decided by the Supreme Electoral Court, which has already declared the elections valid.

Bolsonaro could have asked for an audit and recount of ballot boxes, as happened in the 2014 election when Aesio Neves challenged then-President Dilma Rousseff’s victory. consented to the audit on the condition that it would bear the costs. The audit concluded that there was no evidence of miscalculation or fraud.

Bolsonaro can also seek to withdraw the opposition’s candidacy on grounds such as accepting illegal donations and other misconduct. Some claims must be submitted prior to the winners registration ceremony on December 19th. Other claims may be submitted after 15 days.

Given that the court has already ruled Lula the winner, Goncalves said the challenge is unlikely to succeed. “He may suggest it, but it will be difficult for him,” he said.

With Lula in office, the Senate and House of Representatives, where his own supporters are in the minority, and the most prosperous and powerful states, including São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, will replace the incumbent.

In Brazilian politics, however, centrist lawmakers are tempted by pig barrels and backroom deals, and are almost always on the side of the winners. We will always secure a supermajority on major initiatives such as tax reform, but we should fairly easily secure the kind of coalition we need to avoid a deadlock.

“Ultimately, there is no scenario where the government is a lame duck from the start,” said Mario Braga, senior Brazil analyst at Control Risk.

Yasmeen Abutaleb of Washington contributed to this report.

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