Elections 2022: Bolsonaro refuses to accept defeat in Brazil while some allies recognize Lula’s victory | International
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Brazil is still waiting this Monday for the president, Jair Bolsonaro, to accept defeat. Or, at least, say something about the results of Sunday’s second round, which saw Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva win by 1.8 percentage points or 2.1 million votes. Bolsonaro secluded himself at night in the Alvorada Palace, the president’s residence in Brasilia, he went to sleep early and did not even speak to his ministers. This morning he has moved to his office, in the Planalto Palace. Nor have his eldest children spoken, three very active politicians on social networks: Flavio, elected senator and coordinator of his campaign; Eduardo, deputy re-elected for São Paulo; and Carlos, current councilor in Rio de Janeiro. What Bolsonaro will do is for now a mystery, although his margin to challenge the results is narrowing. Weighty allies already advanced on Sunday that “the result of the polls is sovereign” and that they are ready to be the opposition.
During the campaign, Bolsonaro was very critical of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), which he accused of mounting dark maneuvers to harm him. “The system is against me,” he denounced during the last debate against Lula, on Friday, October 28. On Sunday, however, the president of the TSE, Alexandre Moraes, said that Bolsonaro had treated him “with extreme courtesy” when he informed him of the election result by phone. After that call, Bolsonaro locked himself in the Alvorada and simply went to sleep. Outside, a few dozen supporters prayed with their cell phones lighting up the sky, clad in T-shirts with the Brazilian flag and their hands raised.
It was of little use that Lula demanded that he acknowledge defeat when he spoke before tens of thousands of supporters on Paulista Avenue, the epicenter of the left-wing celebrations. The elected president also demanded “an orderly transition.” “He hasn’t called me yet and I don’t know if he will,” Lula lamented. How the remaining two months will pass until January 1, when Lula will be sworn in to his new position, is another of the great unknowns in Brazilian politics. For now, Bolsonaro has even refused to talk to his allies, many of whom have already conceded defeat.
Like Tarcísio de Freitas, the elected governor of São Paulo, a military man and a man very close to the president. De Freitas said that “the result at the polls is sovereign,” and offered, as helmsman of the largest and richest state in Brazil, to talk with Lula when necessary. “As soon as there is a call for a conversation, we will be there,” said Bolsonaro’s former Minister of Infrastructure. Arthur Lira, the powerful president of the Chamber of Deputies, said Sunday night that “the will of the majority expressed at the polls can never be answered.” “We will continue to build a sovereign, fair country with fewer inequalities,” said Lira, from a party allied to the president. The elected deputy and influencer Nikolas Ferreira, promoter of some of the fake news that has flooded this campaign to affect Lula’s candidacy, also said that they will know how to “be opposition.”
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