US Reporter

Bolsonaro Speaks to the Media After Going Silent Days Following his Defeat

Da Silva won the weekend’s closely contested Brazilian presidential elections. Bolsonaro doesn’t appear willing to accept defeat, though.

Bolsonaro gave a speech on state media after going silent for several days. He said he would “continue to fulfill all the commandments of our constitution” in a speech to reporters at the presidential palace in Brasilia, but he excluded to congratulate the winner. The incumbent’s speech, according to experts, signaled his cooperation to transfer the power to a new person but did not imply that he had already conceded.

The president’s chief of staff, Ciro Nogueira, stated that they remain prepared to cooperate with the new administration during the transition period. However, Nogueira claims they are still awaiting da Silva’s command to begin the transition.

“President Jair Messias Bolsonaro authorized me, when it is time, based on the law, to start the transition process,” he said.

Bolsonaro, meanwhile, did not contest the election’s outcome. Instead, he criticized his detractors and thanked his supporters. Further he failed to mention da Silva at any point in his speech.

“I have always been labeled undemocratic and, unlike my accusers, I have always played within the four lines of the constitution,” the incumbent said.

More than 60 million people voted for Da Silva, making him the candidate with the most votes in Brazilian history.

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A show of strength for Bolsonaro

According to experts, Bolsonaro’s lack of response may make people more worried about a potential protest by his camp. Others assert that Bolsonaro may accuse da Silva of electoral fraud and refuse to cooperate with him during his transition. However, despite failing to mention defeat, he broke the ice with his speech. This caused experts to go into a thought frenzy.

“Bolsonaro wants to maintain this illusion that he was wronged, and that’s why he lost. He wants to show strength and in the culture of this movement, admitting you lost is to show weakness,” said Brian Winter, Americas Quarterly editor-in-chief.

“By saying that he’s going to respect the Constitution and by discouraging violence at some of the protests that have been happening, I think that (Bolsonaro) essentially paves the way now for a relatively normal transition,” added Winter.

“Bolsonarismo is a strong opposition force and got even stronger after this election despite Bolsonaro’s loss,” added Bruna Santos, Wilson Institute senior advisor.

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An election protest

Bolsonaro’s speech sparked a wave of responses from his followers. He received praise from many for holding back on admitting he had lost the race. The protest by his supporters was “the result of indignation and a feeling of injustice at how the electoral process took place.”

“He didn’t recognize the defeat! He didn’t greet his opponent! And he reaffirmed his respect for the Constitution! Let’s go out to the streets, more than ever, safe and certain,” said a supporter.

“Groups of up to 500 protesters, with children on their laps, elderly are participating in it. So the PRF had to act with plenty of caution,” said highway police director Marco Antonio de Barros.

Bolsonaro supporters have filled the streets since Sunday, causing problems for the police. Protesters blocked over 267 streets in Brazil said officials.

Photo Credit: Andressa Anholete

Source: CNN

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