BRASILIA/SAO PAULO, Nov 1 (Reuters) – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro did not concede defeat on Tuesday in his first public remarks since losing Sunday’s election, saying his supporters’ protests were “outrage and a sense of injustice”. ” are the result of Vote.
However, he stopped short of contesting the election results and authorized his chief of staff, Ciro Nogueira, to begin a transition process with representatives of leftist President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Bolsonaro, a right-wing nationalist, took more than 44 hours to comment after election officials decided the election, a delay that raised fears he would try to cast doubt on the narrow results.
Amid his silence, supporters blocked highways to protest his defeat, with some calling for a military coup to prevent former president Lula from returning to power.
Highway blockades have affected fuel distribution, supermarket supplies, and grain exports at major ports, according to industry groups. Read more
In his brief national address, Bolsonaro joked that journalists would miss him, thanked those who voted for him and said he would abide by the constitution, which stipulated a January 1 transfer of power. has gone
“The current popular movements are the result of resentment and a sense of injustice about the conduct of the electoral process,” he said.
He said protesters should refrain from destroying property or “obstructing the right to come and go”, but did not ask them to go home.
“Bolsonaro has not put out that fire. He has spoken to his hardline supporters without criticizing the protesters on the highways,” said Andre Cesar, a political risk analyst at Held Legislative Advisors in Brasilia. “He is mobilizing his more radical followers.”
Karina Laurinda, 34, who took part in the highway protests outside Sao Paulo, said she would continue to protest.
“Even though he says to calm down, not to react, we will still react because we will not accept Lula’s regime,” he said.
Bolsonaro’s chief of staff and vice president, Hamilton Morao, has begun contacting Lula’s camp to discuss the transition. Other allies, including the speaker of the lower house of Congress, have called on the Bolsonaro government since Sunday to respect the election results.
In a statement, the Supreme Court said it considered that, by authorizing the transfer of government, Bolsonaro was accepting the outcome of the election.
Ahead of Sunday’s vote, Bolsonaro repeatedly made baseless claims that the electoral system was open to fraud and accused election officials of favoring his leftist opponent.
Bolsonaro did not directly repeat those claims on Tuesday. But according to Leonardo Barreto, a political analyst at Vector Consultancy in Brasilia, his reference to “injustice” in the electoral process shows that he has learned from his ideological ally, after the presidency of US President Donald Trump.
Trump continues to repeat false claims that the 2020 US election was “stolen” by massive fraud and maintains a significant core of supporters who believe them.
“They are going to copy Trump for the next four years to keep their conservative movement alive,” Barretto said, predicting that the 2026 election would be a rematch between Bolsonaro and Lula’s Workers’ Party.
Lula’s victory represents a dramatic comeback for the 77-year-old former metalworker, who spent 19 months in prison on corruption charges before his ouster last year.
Lula has vowed to undo many of Bolsonaro’s policies, including pro-gun measures and poor protection of the Amazon rainforest. His aides confirmed on Tuesday that he will attend the COP27 UN climate summit in Egypt this month.
Lula’s centrist running mate, former Sao Paulo governor Geraldo Alkman, will coordinate the transition, the Workers’ Party announced Tuesday, with the help of party leader Glacy Hoffmann and former education minister Aluzio Mercadante.
Bolsonaro’s chief of staff, Nogueira, told reporters that the president had authorized him to begin the transition process with Alkman after his name was formally submitted on Thursday.
Reporting by Ricardo Brito, Marcela Ayres and Anthony Bodle in Brasilia, and Brian Ellsworth, Niara Figueiredo and Gabriel Araujo in São Paulo; Edited by Brad Haynes, Alastair Bell, and Rosalba O’Brien
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