Bolsonaro remains silent after election loss to Lula as key allies accept result | Brazil

Bolsonaro remains silent after election loss to Lula as key allies accept result | Brazil

Brazil’s right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro fell silent after his death disappointing electoral defeat to his rival left, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

A stream of world leaders has emerged to recognize Lula’s impressive political comebacks, including US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Russian leader Vladimir Putin and China’s Communist Party leader Xi Jinping.

But Bolsonaro – a pro-dictatorship radical who has repeatedly hinted he may not accept defeat – has yet to concede.

His last message on Twitter – an excerpt from the book of Ephesians – was posted two minutes before midnight on the eve of an election he lost by a margin of more than 2 million votes.

With 100% of the votes counted, Lula secured 50.9% versus Bolsonaro’s 49.10%. Lula received 60.3 million votes, the right-wing incumbent 58.2 million.

“I’m Gonna Cry”: Euphoria on Brazil’s streets as Lula wins – video

The defeat makes Bolsonaro the first incumbent president in Brazilian history to be voted out of office. Lula will take over on January 1, 2023.

While Bolsonaro remained silent, key allies accepted the result as a sign that the populist’s power was rapidly waning after four turbulent years in office.

Silas Malafaia, a prominent televangelist and one of Bolsonaro’s most vocal cheerleaders, tweeted, “The sovereign will of the people has prevailed.”

Malafaia tweeted a quote from British writer CS Lewis upon realizing his candidate’s defeat: “It’s not your business to succeed, it’s to do the right thing. When you have done that, the rest is up to God.”

The newly elected pro-Bolsonaro governor of São Paulo, Tarcísio de Freitas, also acknowledged Lula’s victory, telling journalists: “The election result is sovereign.”

Another key ally, Speaker of the House of Commons Arthur Lira, said: “The will of the majority expressed in elections should never be questioned.”

Even Sergio Moro, the pro-Bolsonaro judge who controversially jailed Lula ahead of the 2018 election before accepting a job in Bolsonaro’s cabinetrecognized the victory of the left.

“That’s democracy,” Moro tweeted.

Ricardo Salles, Bolsonaro’s former environment minister, tweeted: “The outcome of the most polarized election in Brazilian history prompts much reflection and the need to seek ways to pacify a country literally split in half. Now it’s time to rest.”

But Bolsonaro and his three sons of politicians kept a low profile on Monday morning. News website UOL said he was “hiding” at the President’s residence in Brasília.

As of midday Monday, the only indication that Bolsonaro might be ready to accept defeat was a tweet from one of his closest allies, evangelical preacher Damares Alves, in which she wrote, “We lost an election, but we have our love for ours.” not lost land … Bolsonaro will leave the presidency in January with his head held high”.

The only Bolsonaro to break the silence was First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro, who posted a quote from Psalm 117 on Instagram. “O praise the Lord, all nations; praise him, all nations. For his mercy is great toward us, and the truth of the Lord endures forever.”

Reginaldo Lopes, a Labor Party congressman who led Lula’s campaign in the key state of Minas Gerais, said Bolsonaro’s silence speaks volumes about his aversion to democracy. “It underscores that he never had any affection for democracy. Any serious Democratic candidate would immediately call the President-elect to congratulate him and acknowledge his defeat and his opponent’s victory.”

Some observers have expressed concern that Bolsonaro could be following in the footsteps of his US ally Donald Trump refuse to accept defeat to keep his political movement alive.

José Roberto de Toledo, a political columnist for news website UOL, said it didn’t matter whether Bolsonaro conceded defeat or not.

“The Senate approved [the result]. The House of Commons accepted it. The electoral court agreed. All institutions have accepted it – and the military is quiet,” Toledo said, adding that he rather enjoyed a rare break from the president’s babble. “Bolsonaro is a poet when he shuts up,” Toledo said.

Rather than planning a coup or riot, Toledo joked that Bolsonaro probably kicked a wall in the presidential palace, verbally abused the first lady, or practiced yoga breathing techniques to keep calm. “I think he really believed he was going to win. He believed his own lie. So he’s probably brooding and coming to terms with the loss.”

Political commentator Bernardo Mello Franco tweeted: “One by one the Bolsonaristas recognize Lula’s victory. This leaves the President lacking the political support to embark on any coup-style adventure.”

Lopes also dismissed the risk that Bolsonaro would try to defy the outcome, noting the widespread acceptance of Lula’s triumph across the political spectrum and within the political establishment. “Brazil and its institutions immediately recognized President Lula’s victory. That was crucial,” he said.

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