Bolsonaro ‘authorizes’ transition in Brazil without acknowledging defeat

5. Brazil
Supporters of president Jair Bolsonaro are disperse by the riot police during a blockade on Castelo Branco highway, on the outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil, on November 2, 2022. (Photo: AFP)

BRASÍLIA  — Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday “authorized” the transition to a new government, without acknowledging his defeat to leftist rival Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.اضافة اعلان

Bolsonaro, 67, broke two days of silence after his razor-thin loss to Lula on Sunday, which sparked protests from his supporters across the country and fanned fears he would not accept the outcome.

In a speech that lasted just over two minutes, the rightwing incumbent neither acknowledged defeat nor congratulated Lula on his victory.

But microphones did catch the president saying before his speech with a smile: “They are going to miss us.”

Bolsonaro started by thanking the 58 million Brazilians who voted for him, before saying that the roadblocks erected by his supporters across the country were “the fruit of indignation and a feeling of injustice at how the electoral process took place”.

“Peaceful protests will always be welcome,” he said.

Before his speech Tuesday, Bolsonaro had initially remained silent even as key allies publicly recognized his loss, including the powerful speaker of the lower house of Congress, Arthur Lira.

Crackdown on protests

Federal Highway Police (PRF) on Tuesday reported hundreds of total or partial road blockades across the country by truck drivers and pro-Bolsonaro supporters.

By nightfall, they said they had dispersed about 490 protests, but that about 190 demonstrations and partial road blockades remained.

Protesters wearing the yellow and green of the Brazilian flag, which the outgoing president had adopted as his own, said they would not accept the outcome of the election.

On Monday night, Judge Alexander de Moraes of the Supreme Court ordered police to disperse the blockades immediately. He was acting in response to a request by a transport federation that complained it was losing business.

Bolsonaro is the first incumbent president in Brazil not to win re-election in the post-dictatorship era after a four-year term.

Lula scored 50.9 percent to Bolsonaro’s 49.1 percent — the narrowest margin in Brazil’s modern history.

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