Brazil's President Does Not Concede Election Loss but Signals Cooperation
Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro promises a peaceful transfer of power to leftist leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva amid protests from Bolsonaro's supporters.
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said Tuesday that he would "continue to fulfill all the commandments of our constitution" in a short speech at the presidential palace in Brasilia, after days of silence following his election loss to the leftist former leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, reports CNN.
"Bolsonaro wants to maintain this illusion that he was wronged, and that’s why he lost. He wants to show strength and in the culture of this movement, admitting you lost is to show weakness," Brian Winter, the editor in chief of Americas Quarterly, told CNN.
Excerpt from CNN: Bolsonaro did not explicitly concede defeat, though the event appeared to signal his intention to cooperate with the transfer of power. Taking the podium after the President, chief of staff Ciro Nogueira said that he would work with the new government and is waiting for Lula da Silva’s transition team to begin the handover. "President Jair Messias Bolsonaro authorized me, when it is time, based on the law, to start the transition process," Nogueira said. Notably, Bolsonaro’s brief address did not contest the vote result. Instead, he thanked those who voted for him and hit out at critics. "I have always been labeled undemocratic and, unlike my accusers, I have always played within the four lines of the constitution," he said. Bolsonaro’s initial silence had contributed to fears that he would not cooperate with the transfer of power, after making unfounded claims prior to the vote about electoral fraud.
According to the New Yorker, few political encores of modern times have been as epic as that of Brazil’s politician, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who celebrated his seventy-seventh birthday last week. Just three years ago, the charismatic left-winger known universally as Lula, who served as Brazil’s President for two terms, from 2003 to 2010, was in prison, eighteen months into a twelve-year sentence on corruption charges. This past Sunday, having secured early release with a court-ordered suspension of the charges against him, Lula won Brazil’s Presidency for the third time, in a runoff vote.
Excerpt from the New Yorker: He did so narrowly, with 60.3 million votes to 58.2 million for his far-right rival, the incumbent Jair Bolsonaro. A couple of hours after the polls closed, Lula appeared at a São Paulo hotel, where he gave a victory speech to a packed roomful of journalists and his election team. He thanked God, his wife, Janja, who was at his side, and several of his political allies for aiding him in his triumph. In a manner that felt reminiscent of Joe Biden’s conciliatory words after beating Donald Trump, in 2020, Lula alluded to Brazil’s bitter divisions by saying that he wished to be the President of "all Brazilians," while asserting, "There aren’t two Brazils. There’s just one."
Meanwhile, supporters of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday held rallies to call for an armed forces intervention following the election of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a move that military experts say is out of the question, writes Reuters.
Excerpt from Reuters: Bolsonaro's supporters in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro led festive rallies on Wednesday, carrying Brazil's yellow-and-green flag draped over their shoulders, blowing horns and chanting anti-Lula slogans. "We hope the army will intervene in this situation, we know that those elections were fraudulent," said Reinaldo da Silva, 65, a retired government worker at a rally at the entrance to a Sao Paulo army barracks. "I came today because I want Brasil to be free, socialism does not work with the Brazilian nation." Similar rallies were held in 24 of Brazil's 26 states, as well as the capital Brasilia, according to Brazilian online media portal G1. Bolsonaro, a former army captain, has cultivated strong ties to the military since his 2018 election, winning over the political sympathies of some of the top brass. In response to a request for comment, Brazil's defense ministry said peaceful demonstrations were part of free expression under Brazilian law, adding that "the Defense Ministry is guided by the Federal Constitution."