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2 Nov, 2022 10:01

Bolsonaro breaks silence on election loss

The Brazilian president stopped short of admitting defeat, but authorized the transition of power
Bolsonaro breaks silence on election loss

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro failed to concede defeat in his first public remarks since Sunday’s national election. 

However, his chief of staff Ciro Nogueira claimed that the incumbent had authorized him to begin the transition process for handing over power.

The news came after ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva managed to claim victory over Bolsonaro by a narrow margin.

In a brief speech on Tuesday, breaking his two-day silence, the right-wing president did not directly address the election results, and avoided mentioning the winner by name, though he did vow to abide by the rules set out in the constitution.

“I have always been labelled as antidemocratic and, unlike my accusers, I have always played within the four lines of the constitution,” he stated.

He also commented on the widespread protests by his supporters that erupted during the two days of his silence, describing them as “the fruit of indignation and a sense of injustice about the way the electoral process took place.” While he did not urge them to go back home, he said they should not destroy property.

Later, Nogueira signaled he would work with the new government to carry out the transfer of power. “President Jair Messias Bolsonaro authorized me, when it is time, based on the law, to start the transition process,” he said.

Before the presidential election, Bolsonaro had repeatedly claimed that Brazil’s electronic voting system is open to fraud, and accused the election authorities of favoring Lula. His criticism appears to echo statements made by former US President Donald Trump – a leader he has had warm relations with – who has repeatedly claimed that the 2020 US election was stolen from him. Both Trump and Bolsonaro have failed to provide evidence to support their allegations.

Bolsonaro lost the second round of the election to former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who won by a thin margin of 50.9% against the incumbent’s 49.1%. The president-elect is set to officially take office on January 1, 2023.