Thousands of Bolsonaro backers claim Brazil’s knife-edge election was ‘fraudulent’ and even urge the ARMY to intervene to keep the far-Right demagogue in power after ‘Trump of the Tropics’ failed to concede defeat to leftist rival Lula
- Thousands of Jair Bolsonaro backers have claimed that Brazil’s knife-edge election result was ‘fraudulent’
- Bolsonaro supporters have urged the army to intervene to keep the far-Right demagogue in his position
- Bolsonaro on Tuesday gave a short speech in which he neither accepted defeat nor congratulated Lula
- Since then, his supporters have rallied in front of military installations in Brazil’s major cities to call for action
Thousands of Jair Bolsonaro backers have claimed that Brazil’s knife-edge election was ‘fraudulent’ and have even urged the army to intervene to keep the far-Right demagogue in power after the ‘Trump of the Tropics’ failed to concede his defeat to leftist rival Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Supporters of Bolsonaro on Wednesday held rallies to call for an armed forces intervention, a move that military experts say is out of the question.
After days of silence, Bolsonaro on Tuesday gave a short speech in which he neither accepted defeat nor congratulated Lula on his win over the weekend, although his chief of staff took the podium afterward to say the president had authorized the transition to a new government.
Since then, his supporters have rallied in front of military installations in Brazil’s major cities to call for action.
Thousands of Jair Bolsonaro backers have claimed that Brazil’s knife-edge election was ‘fraudulent’. Pictured, supporters of Bolsonaro protest in Rio de Janeiro
‘Federal intervention now!’ chanted some of the thousands who gathered in front of the Southeastern Military Command in the Latin American country’s biggest city, Sao Paulo. Pictured, a Bolsonaro supporter in Sao Paulo
The country’s electoral authority on Sunday said Lula won almost 51 per cent of the vote. Pictured, supporters of Bolsonaro protest in Rio de Janeiro
Bolsonaro on Tuesday gave a short speech in which he neither accepted defeat nor congratulated Lula on his win over the weekend
‘Federal intervention now!’ chanted some of the thousands who gathered in front of the Southeastern Military Command in the Latin American country’s biggest city, Sao Paulo, on Wednesday.
The country’s electoral authority on Sunday said Lula won almost 51 per cent of the vote. Bolsonaro’s cabinet has initiated a transition, with Lula set to take over the presidency on January 1.
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.’
‘We want a federal intervention because we demand our freedom. We do not admit that a thief governs us,’ Angela Cosac, 70, said, next to a sign reading ‘SOS Armed Forces.’ This alluded to the fact that Lula served time in prison for corruption.
Another demonstration along Sao Paulo’s Paulista Avenue was planned for later in the day.
Bolsonaro’s supporters have rallied in front of military installations in Brazil’s major cities to call for action. Pictured, a supporter in Sao Paulo
Bolsonaro’s supporters in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro led festive rallies on Wednesday, carrying Brazil’s yellow-and-green flag. Pictured, a demonstration in Rio de Janeiro
Supporters of outgoing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro protest against the election results, outside the Eastern Military Command in Rio de Janeiro
Supporters of outgoing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro hold a banner reading ‘Federal intervention’ during a protest in Rio de Janeiro
In rainy downtown Rio de Janeiro, demonstrators were filmed by Brazilian media chanting: ‘Lula, thief, your place is in prison.’ Pictured, Rio de Janeiro
In the southern state of Santa Catarina, protesters were filmed on Wednesday raising Nazi salutes.
Thousands also gathered in the capital, Brasilia, chanting ‘civil resistance.’ And in rainy downtown Rio de Janeiro, demonstrators were filmed by Brazilian media chanting: ‘Lula, thief, your place is in prison.’
Similar rallies were held at barracks in a total of nine states and the capital Brasilia, according to Brazilian online media portal UOL.
Protesters also maintained road blockades across the country for the third consecutive day, though the number decreased from 271 on Tuesday to 167 Wednesday, according to police.
In Sao Paulo, military police used tear gas to disperse a blockade on the main highway connecting the state with the central-west region of the country, after the Supreme Federal Court ordered the use of ‘all necessary measures’ to open the roads.
Rodrigo da Mata, a 41-year-old salesman, said that he wanted a military intervention ‘so that our country does not become communist.’
‘We do not accept the election result because we know it was fraudulent. Like everything that the PT does’, he added, in reference to Lula’s Workers’ Party.
Trucks sounded their horns while demonstrators, wearing yellow football jerseys, waved flags in front of passing vehicles, according to scenes broadcast on local television.
The blockades have caused disruptions across the country. The main airport in Sao Paulo cancelled 48 flights due to the protests, according to its press office.
Bolsonaro’s vice president, Hamilton Mourao, told the O Globo daily that ‘it’s no use crying, we’ve lost the game.’
The National Confederation of Industry warned on Tuesday of an imminent risk of fuel shortages if blocked roads were not quickly cleared.
Infrastructure minister Marcelo Sampaio had asked late Tuesday for protesters to unblock the highways to allow medicine, supplies and fuel to circulate.
Bolsonaro on Tuesday said protesters should not ‘use the methods of the left, (…) that prevent freedom of movement,’ but added that the roadblocks 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.
That was interpreted by some supporters as a call to maintain the demonstrations.
‘The dream is still alive,’ said a message by one supporter on Tuesday on Telegram. ‘Fill the streets tomorrow.’
Bolsonaro’s comments on Tuesday broke his two days of silence on the election results, which had fanned fears he would not accept the outcome.
In a speech that lasted just over two minutes, the far-right incumbent did not mention Lula’s name, but promised to comply with the constitution.
His chief of staff then told the gathered press that the president had authorized the start of the transition.
Lula’s Workers’ Party announced Tuesday that his vice-president-elect Geraldo Alckmin would lead the transition process, which would begin on Thursday.
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.
Supporters of outgoing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro hold a banner reading ‘Federal intervention’ during protest against the election results, outside the Eastern Military Command in Rio de Janeiro
Aerial view of supporters of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro taking part in a protest to ask for federal intervention outside Brazil’s Armed Forces Headquarters in Sao Paulo
Aerial view of supporters of Jair Bolsonaro during a demonstration in support of President of Brazil Bolsonaro and against election results in front of the Eastern Military Command building in Rio de Janeiro,
Like many politically conservative Brazilians, he has often waxed nostalgic for the 1964-1985 military dictatorship. Lula, by contrast, was jailed in the 1970s for protesting against the military government.
But the armed forces have been wary of direct involvement in politics since the dictatorship, which left the country in economic chaos.
Paulo Chagas, a retired cavalry general who campaigned for Bolsonaro in 2018, said in a message: ‘The military know full well what their duty is: the constitution does not allow them to intervene in politics.’
General Otavio Rego Barros, a former spokesman for Bolsonaro, said in a column published on Wednesday that it was time for the election losers to concede and think of Brazil’s future. He criticized ‘groups with no sense of responsibility that still seek to destabilize a weakened social fabric with provocations and misinformation.’
Chagas and Rego Barros fell out with Bolsonaro over his pressure on the armed forces to endorse him politically.
Political leaders around the world have congratulated Lula on his victory, with the White House commending him for winning ‘free, fair and credible elections.’ Spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said on Wednesday that the Biden administration was glad Bolsonaro had acknowledged the result.
Before Sunday’s vote, Bolsonaro had repeatedly made baseless claims that the electoral system was open to fraud.
As well as echoing that false claim, some Bolsonaro supporters argue Lula should not have been allowed to run after being convicted as part of a sweeping corruption scandal linked to his Workers Party, which was overturned by the Supreme Court last year.
‘We need a federal intervention, we have a Supreme (Court) that sold out to the Workers Party,’ said one demonstrator at a rally outside a regional military headquarters in the center of Rio de Janeiro.
Truckers, one of Bolsonaro’s core group of supporters, blocked roads around the country on Monday and Tuesday to protest the results, creating miles-long backups and threatening to disrupt supply chains.
However, several truckers said they supported Bolsonaro but did not agree with the blockades and authorities said on Wednesday that they were making headway in clearing the blockades.
Brazil’s defense ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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