Brazil election: Bolsonaro, Trump of Tropics, not conceding Lula win


RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil and its president-elect, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the winner of Sunday’s election, awakened Monday to a query acquainted to Americans: Will the loser concede?

In the tightest presidential election in Brazilian historical past, following a bitterly fought marketing campaign that deepened divisions in Latin America’s largest nation, President Jair Bolsonaro has remained out of public view since 8 p.m. Sunday, when the Superior Electoral Court declared Lula the winner of the second and remaining spherical. Bolsonaro, an in depth ally of former president Donald Trump, recognized for his fiery rhetoric and incendiary missives on social media, has opted for a response that for him has been extraordinarily unusual: silence.

“Starting [Monday] I need to know how we’re going to govern this country,” Lula instructed supporters late Sunday. “I need to know if the president we defeated will let there be a transition.” He’s set to take workplace in January.

Lula defeats Bolsonaro to win a third term as Brazil’s president

On Monday afternoon, the Brazilian outlet Folha de São Paulo reported that Bolsonaro’s allies had drafted a concession speech, and the president was anticipated to ship it Monday. The content material of the speech was unclear; Bolsonaro was anticipated to say he was a sufferer of injustice, however would not problem the outcomes.

However, as of Monday evening, Bolsonaro had nonetheless not spoken, at the same time as his supporters arrange 200 highway blockades in 18 states, and observers warned of the potential for additional unrest. In Telegram teams, Bolsonaro supporters had been calling for occupations on Tuesday of extra highways, avenues and entrances to army barracks.

The Federal Highway Police — shut allies of Bolsonaro who allegedly slowed down voting Sunday in areas with heavy backing for Lula — stated they’d dispatched forces to the protests. But amid claims they had been failing to behave, federal prosecutors demanded additional info on their response.

As stress heightened and Bolsonaro’s intensions remained unsure, Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes, the nation’s prime election official, issued a requirement that police use “all necessary measures” to unblock the highways.

On Monday, Brazilian Sen. Flavio Bolsonaro, the president’s eldest son, tweeted, “Dad, I’m with you for better or worse.”

To many right here, Bolsonaro’s delay is little shock. The president, his sons and supporters have for months laid the groundwork to contest a loss with unsupported allegations of electoral fraud. Bolsonaro summoned international diplomats in July to forged doubt on digital voting, and claimed final week that nationwide regulation had been violated as a result of radio stations gave extra time through the marketing campaign to Lula.

Election authorities dismissed all these claims as fictitious, and referred to as Sunday’s election safe and legitimate. If something, irregular checkpoints set up by police with ties to Bolsonaro in territory loyal to Lula on Sunday appeared to delay voters from attending to the polls.

Former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva received the presidential election on Oct. 30, defeating incumbent Jair Bolsonaro after a bitter marketing campaign. (Video: Julie Yoon/The Washington Post)

Having adopted a lot of the Trump playbook throughout his rise to energy and in workplace, analysts say, Bolsonaro might do the identical in defeat: refuse to concede, declare Lula’s presidency illegitimate and use his hardcore base to play energy dealer whereas making ready for the following election.

“This is the Trump model,” stated Marcos Nobre, a political analyst and creator. “That’s to say, the one who won the election fair and square is illegitimate. Bolsonaro will seek to weaken Lula in every way.”

His loss comes because the specter of felony investigations hangs over him and his household.

Even as Bolsonaro resisted acknowledging the outcome, the world embraced it. It took Bolsonaro months to acknowledge President Biden’s 2020 victory — and appeared to query his legitimacy as lately as June. “I will not discuss the sovereignty of another country,” Bolsonaro instructed journalists. “But Trump was doing really well.”

Biden rapidly threw Washington’s backing to Lula’s nook, publicly congratulating the 77-year-old icon of the left shortly after his victory Sunday and talking with him by cellphone on Monday.

“President Biden commended the strength of Brazilian democratic institutions following free, fair, and credible elections,” the White House stated in a press release. “The two leaders discussed the strong relationship between the United States and Brazil, and committed to continue working as partners to address common challenges, including combating climate change, safeguarding food security, promoting inclusion and democracy, and managing regional migration.”

Other leaders have rallied to Lula. Argentina’s president, Alberto Fernández, was set to satisfy with Lula on Monday in Brazil. Lula’s “victory opens a new era for the history of Latin America. A time of hope and future that begins today,” Fernández stated on Twitter. “Here you have a partner to work and dream big with for the well-being of our nations.”

Bolsonaro, like Trump, has an adoring base. Some supporters started blocking Brazil’s highways late Sunday, demanding he refuse to concede. Police on Monday morning reported an escalating quantity of blockades.

They included one of the nation’s most important highways, which connects São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. The army police in Brasília on Monday stated they’d closed off roads resulting in key authorities buildings within the capital after figuring out a “possible demonstration” scheduled for the world that was spreading on social media.

One congressman who represents truckers stated the roadblocks had been the work of “criminals who do not represent the category.” “The Parliamentary Group of Independent Truckers does not support any kind of demonstration against the outcome of the elections!” Nereu Crispim tweeted. After the outcome Sunday, the Rio Grande do Sul lawmaker stated democracy had received and “hate has lost.”

Brazilian police accused of suppressing Lula vote

The firm that manages highways in Mato Grosso state stated at the very least 4 stretches of highway had been blocked. “Lula will not be our president,” a lady says in a video posted by the information outlet O Globo.

For Bolsonaro, there are a variety of choices. Does he maintain tight, demand a vote audit and spark a constitutional disaster a la Trump in 2020? Or, as a result of his conservative motion did much better than anticipated, does he solidify a robust place as Brazil’s strongest opposition chief because the return of democracy — utilizing his huge social media platform as a bully pulpit to complicate Lula’s job? Or, as some have steered, does he go away Brazil to flee the likelihood of felony prosecution?

Close advisers described Bolsonaro as “sad and disappointed” and stated he has expressed indignation on the outcome, Brazilian media reported. TV Globo steered the president’s allies, fearful of squandering a powerful conservative turnout that fell simply shy of victory on Sunday, are pressuring the president to acknowledge the outcome as quickly as potential.

In public, his closest interior circle, nevertheless, has remained largely mum. But some of Bolsonaro’s allies inspired him to concede. “It is time to disarm the spirit, extend your hand to your opponents,” House Speaker Arthur Lira stated. “We reaffirm the fairness, the stability and the confirmation of the popular will. We cannot accept revanchism and persecution from any side. Now it is time to look ahead.”

Moraes, the highest election official, instructed reporters late Sunday that he had referred to as each candidates earlier than the winner was introduced to tell them of the election outcome. Bolsonaro, he stated, had responded “with extreme politeness.”

Moraes described the elections as clear and safe, and insisted there was no “real risk” the outcomes might be contested. “This is part of the rule of law,” he stated.

“There has been major polarization, and now it is more up to the winners to unite the country,” he stated.

“Three hours after voting ended, and with almost 99% of the ballots counted, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was mathematically elected president of Brazil, with more than 50% of the voters’ votes,” Attorney General Augusto Aras, who critics say has shielded Bolsonaro from corruption investigations, stated in a press release Sunday evening.

Sergio Moro, the prosecuting decide who despatched Lula to jail on expenses that had been later annulled, was later appointed Bolsonaro’s justice minister and who’s now, after a falling-out, an elected senator, stated, “This is how Democracy is.”

“Let’s work for the unity of those who want the good of the country,” he tweeted. “I will always be on the side of what is right! I will be in the opposition in 2023.”

One of Bolsonaro’s strongest allies, evangelical pastor Silas Malafaia, acknowledged “the sovereign people’s will.”

“My prayer, as the Bible says, is to intercede for the constituted authorities,” he tweeted. “God save Brazil from social, political and economic chaos.”

The cannibal vs. the Satanist: Toxic politics is poisoning Brazil

Others demanded that Bolsonaro reject the outcomes. Carla Zambelli, a pro-Bolsonaro lawmaker who pointed a gun at an unarmed Black man after a political argument in São Paulo on Saturday, congratulated the truckers for his or her blockades. She shared a video of protesters placing hearth to tires to shut a freeway in Goiás state. “Stay, don’t fade,” she tweeted final evening because the protests started.

Trump, in a video assertion earlier than the election, endorsed Bolsonaro as “one of the great people in all of politics and in all of leadership of countries.”

“There is no possibility that the result of the electronic ballot boxes is correct,” former Trump strategist and Bolsonaro supporter Stephen Okay. Bannon instructed the outlet Folha de São Paulo. “We need a ballot-by-ballot audit, even if it takes six months. In the meantime, the president should not agree to leave.”

There are authorized paths to problem elections, in response to Luiz Carlos dos Santos Gonçalves, a federal prosecutor and scholar of Brazilian electoral regulation. But all of them could be judged by the Supreme Electoral Court, which has already declared the elections legitimate.

Bolsonaro might ask for an audit of the poll bins and a recount, as occurred within the 2014 race, when Aécio Neves challenged then-president Dilma Rousseff’s victory. The court docket agreed to an audit, supplied his celebration would bear the prices. The audit concluded there was no proof of a miscount or fraud.

Bolsonaro might additionally search to have his opponent’s candidacy annulled on grounds together with, for instance, accepting unlawful donations or different wrongdoing. Some varieties of claims should be introduced earlier than the winner’s registration ceremony on Dec. 19. Others will be introduced so long as 15 days afterward.

Given that the court docket has already dominated Lula the winner, Gonçalves stated, challenges are unlikely to succeed. “He may propose it, but it will be difficult for him,” he stated.

When Lula takes workplace, he’ll cope with a Senate and House of Deputies wherein his personal supporters are minorities, and a rustic the place essentially the most affluent and highly effective states — together with São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro — are run by governors allied with the incumbent.

Yet in Brazilian politics, centrist lawmakers, tempted by pork barrel and backroom offers, virtually all the time facet with the winner. With their help, Lula seems simply shy of with the ability to safe an everyday supermajority for main initiatives resembling tax reform, however he ought to pretty simply safe the type of coalition required to keep away from gridlock.

“Ultimately, we don’t have a scenario where the government will be a lame duck from the start,” stated Mario Braga, senior Brazil analyst for Control Risks.

Yasmeen Abutaleb in Washington contributed to this report.

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