Rio de Janeiro (AFP) – Thousands of Brazilians gathered this Tuesday in front of Army commandos in Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and other cities, asking for an intervention against the electoral victory of former leftist president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on October 30.
On a national holiday, thousands of Brazilians dressed in the green and yellow colors of the national flag gathered under inclement sun since morning in front of the Eastern Military Command, the main Army headquarters in this region, in the center of the city of Rio de Janeiro (southeast Brazil).
“We don’t want Lula to take office on January 1, we don’t want a communist country, we want a better Brazil,” banker Lais Nunes, 30, told AFP during the demonstration.
Many carried the Brazilian flag and sang the national anthem each time it was played from a truck with loudspeakers.
“There are various reports that there was fraud in the elections (…) we cannot accept that,” said police officer Leandro de Oliveira, 38, who attributes the fraud to an alleged conspiracy on the part of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) to privilege the former president (2003-2010), arguments that have already been denied by various authorities and international observers.
In the capital Brasilia (center), thousands of people also gathered in front of the Army Headquarters, carrying banners with legends such as “SOS Armed Forces” or “audit at the polls,” the AFP confirmed.
Security was reinforced in the central region of Brasilia this Tuesday after the call for protests through social networks.
The Police restricted in a “preventive” way the access of vehicles and pedestrians to the Plaza de los Tres Poderes, where the buildings of the Presidency, Congress and the Supreme Court are located, according to the Security Secretariat of the Federal District.
Two weeks ago, thousands of protesters gathered in front of military premises in Brasilia and other cities in the country asking for the intervention of the Armed Forces after the ballot, in which Lula defeated the far-right president Jair Bolsonaro by a narrow margin (50.9% against 49 ,1%).
Since then, many have remained camping in front of the General Headquarters in the capital, located a few kilometers from its central area, and in front of a barracks in Sao Paulo, where local media also reported demonstrations on Tuesday. There were also mobilizations in the city of Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais, southeast).
– Bolsonaro, imprisoned
The protesters denounce a “fraud” allegedly perpetrated with the electronic ballot box system, installed in Brazil since 1996, and unfoundedly questioned by Bolsonaro.
That possibility, however, was ruled out by numerous international observers and a report from the Armed Forces themselves.
After the electoral defeat and while the transition that will culminate with the inauguration of Lula in January progresses, Bolsonaro remains in seclusion and has practically absented himself from public life, including from social networks.
In the first days after the result, supporters of the president organized hundreds of roadblocks in various states of the country as a form of protest.
But the president took almost 48 hours to address the nation after his defeat, and although he asked that the roads be unblocked, he said that peaceful protests in other places were “welcome.”
© 2022 AFP