Brazil’s President Bolsonaro says Supreme Court elections are ‘over’

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro’s government has come to power two days after its nail-biting election loss to leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva amid speculation that far-right incumbents may contest the outcome. expressed willingness to hand over the

Bolsonaro reportedly told members of Brazil’s Supreme Court on Tuesday that his campaign against da Silva was over. I’ve been playing within four lines,” but he didn’t reach the point of conceding.

After a closed-door meeting with Bolsonaro, Supreme Court Justice Luis Edson Fatin said the conservative leader said: The judge commented on a video broadcast by local media.

Two other judges questioned by journalists declined to comment on the substance of the hour-long meeting. Brazil’s Economy Minister Paulo Guedes was also present, but declined to comment.

In a subsequent statement, the Supreme Court said the judge told Bolsonaro in a “heartfelt and respectful meeting” that it was important to recognize the outcome of the election and the right of Brazilian citizens to freedom of movement. rice field. Pro-Bolsonaro protesters have blocked highways, causing massive traffic jams in the country.

Bolsonaro did not confirm this in his first official comments since the results came out, but shortly afterward his chief of staff told reporters that the conservative leader would begin the process of handing over power. said he had allowed him to

Bolsonaro, who had repeatedly questioned the credibility of the country’s electoral system before the election, had little room to potentially reject the results.

US President Joe Biden and other international leaders have publicly acknowledged Da Silva’s victory, as have Bolsonaro’s closest allies. And ministers, governor-elects and evangelical leaders who were ardent supporters of Bolsonaro are providing the overture to the next left-wing government.

Bolsonaro lost Sunday’s race by a narrow margin, winning 49.1% of the vote to da Silva’s 50.9%, according to the country’s election officials. It was the hottest contest in the election and the first time Bolsonaro has lost an election in his 34-year political career.

Surrounded by more than a dozen ministers and supporters during his two-minute speech at the presidential palace, the enthusiastic leader made no mention of the election results. Instead, he defended his tenure and said he supported the ongoing protests by truck drivers who set up roadblocks across the country as long as it didn’t turn violent.

“The current mass movement is the result of resentment and unjustified feelings about how the election process was conducted,” he said.

Independent political analyst Thomas Trauman said the president’s statement amounted to a “double move.”

“He doesn’t recognize his defeat and keeps himself on edge,” Trauman said.

Like former President Donald Trump, whom Bolsonaro openly admires, Bolsonaro has argued that electronic voting machines are prone to fraud. He has not provided any evidence, even when ordered to do so by the Electoral Court.

Many of his supporters said they believed the election was rigged, and some called for military intervention and the dissolution of Congress and the Supreme Court.

In the early hours of Tuesday, Brazil’s Supreme Court ordered the federal highway police to immediately clear the road.

A majority of court judges upheld a ruling accusing the highway police of “inaction and inertia.” By 8:30 pm local time, highway police had lifted 419 blockades, but said nearly 200 remained.

In São Paulo, Brazil’s most populous state and largest economy, traffic jams near the international airport caused dozens of flights to be canceled, with social media videos showing travelers on highways in the dark. I saw people rolling their suitcases along and trying to get on the plane. The highway had been removed by Tuesday morning, but airport officials said access remained difficult as traffic to and from the airport was still receding.

There, 38-year-old protester Dalmir Almeida said he and others would drive a truck to an army barracks to ask for help after a three-day strike.

“The army will be in our favour,” he said

At another roadblock in Sao Paulo state, protesters set tires on fire. Several demonstrators were wrapped in the Brazilian flag adopted by the Brazilian conservative movement for demonstration purposes. I saw a huge line of cars meandering along the highway.

São Paulo state governor Rodrigo Garcia said the time for negotiations was over and that he had not ruled out the use of force.

In Minas Gerais, a key election battleground state, a protester told reporters at O ​​Tempo news agency in a social media video that the election was “fraudulent” and warned of future protests.

“I want Bolsonaro in 2023 and beyond,” he said.

An Associated Press reporter saw a truck driver kneeling in front of police officers in the Itaborai region of Rio de Janeiro state, refusing to evacuate.

Social media users, including multiple Telegram and WhatsApp chat groups, demanded that the military take to the streets or that Congress and the Supreme Court be dissolved and that the president remain in office.

Tuesday’s Supreme Court ruling allows regular state police to strengthen federal highway police. The same he did in 2018, resulting in an 11-day truckers’ strike. Stopped Brazil.

However, Bolsonaro had broad public support in the police, and it was not clear how effective their engagement would be.

The 2018 outage left supermarket shelves empty of goods as food prices skyrocketed and petrol stations ran out of fuel. It cost billions in losses and revealed the immense power truckers wielded. was a supporter.


Jeantet reported from Rio de Janeiro. Associated Press writers Carla Bridi and David Biller contributed to this report, as did producer Diary Rodriguez.