Brazil: Bolsonaro remains silent for more than 24 hours after his loss to Lula

When will he finally speak? the far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro always remains walled in its silence for more than 24 hours after his loss to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has received numerous calls from foreign leaders congratulating him on his election as the country’s president. As Lula’s camp fears that the outgoing head of state will refuse to concede defeat, with potentially deleterious consequences for Latin America’s largest economy, Bolsonaro supporters on Monday blocked highways across the country. .

In Brasilia, security has been reinforced “preventively” near the Three Powers Square, which brings together the Presidential Palace, the Supreme Court and the Parliament, in anticipation of the possible arrival of pro-Bolsonaro demonstrators.

After losing narrowly to Lula on Sunday (50.9% – 49.1%), the incumbent head of state – until the handover on January 1 – isolated himself in his residence official from Alvorada to Brasilia. He went Monday morning to the Planalto Palace, the seat of the presidency, then returned in the afternoon to his residence, without making the slightest statement. According to O’Globo newspaper, the outgoing president could speak on Tuesday. Without contesting the results… or congratulating his victorious opponent.

Stock market uncertainties

This heavy silence, which Lula said he was “worried about” on Sunday evening, reminded many Brazilians that Jair Bolsonaro had repeatedly threatened not to recognize the verdict of the ballot box if he lost. Already anticipating difficulties, Lula had wished on Sunday that “the (outgoing) government be civilized” and understand that “it is necessary to make a good transfer of power”.

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This climate of uncertainty was reflected in the volatility of the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange, the first financial center in Latin America, which, after having opened in the red, closed on an increase of 1.36%, after many variations. during the session. The Brazilian real gained more than 2% against the dollar.

Bolsonaro” was removed from his throne by force, and we will put it back in power with the strength that is ours, us, the group of truckers,” said Ezequias, a 40-year-old truck driver who only wanted to give his first name. He took part on Monday in the blocking of the highway between Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, the economic capital, in Barra Mansa (southeast), without it being possible to know whether the movement was spontaneous or coordinated.

Pro-Bolsonaro protesters

The transition period got off to a tense start when truckers and pro-Bolsonaro protesters blocked highways in at least 11 states across the country on Monday, burning tires and parking vehicles in the middle of the road to halt traffic.

Supporters of Jair Bolsonaro demonstrate in Cotia on October 31, 2022. REUTERS / Amanda Perobelli
Supporters of Jair Bolsonaro demonstrate in Cotia on October 31, 2022. REUTERS / Amanda Perobelli

Dressed in the yellow and green of the Brazilian flag – which the outgoing president has made his own – the demonstrators waved pro-Bolsonaro signs and sang the national anthem, before being gradually dispersed by the authorities in certain regions. On Monday evening, Supreme Court Justice Alexander de Moraes ordered police to immediately disperse the roadblocks. It was acting in response to a request from a transport federation which complained that it was hurting their business.

Federal traffic police chief Cristiano Vasconcellos told CBN radio that roadblocks had been erected “all over Brazil”. He said law enforcement had cleared some of them, but warned it was a difficult task: “We free one, and another forms,” ​​he said. “While the risk of short-term protests is high, that of a serious institutional crisis is very low,” however, the Eurasia Group consultants estimated.

Brazil: Bolsonaro remains silent for more than 24 hours after his loss to Lula