Brazil: “The Peaceful Transition of Power”

Brazilians mark their ballots.

Donald Trump was a loser. He pretended he won the U.S. election for president. He did not concede to Joe Biden. He even tried to keep Biden from becoming president. He did not attend the swearing-in of the new President.

All countries have a “lunatic fringe.” People who believe what they want to believe. Facts do not matter.

Trump appealed to those people. He became a model of how to try to destroy democracy.

Brazil faced the same problem. President Jair Bolsonaro said if he lost, it would be because opponents rigged the election against him.

The results showed his opponent Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, won the election. Everyone held their breath. Would Bolsonaro concede? Or would he say he won and urge his supporters to take to the streets?

The answer so far is a little bit of both.

The good news is that he told his government to transition power to the election’s winner.

In a short speech, Mr. Bolsonaro thanked his supporters and asked protesters to be peaceful. Bolsonaro spoke of his accomplishments. He said he had always followed the Constitution. What he did not say was that he had lost the vote or that the election had been free and fair.

All of this is right out of the Trump playbook.

The question now remains of how will his thousands of supporters receive his comments. They have blocked hundreds of highways across Brazil in a bid to “paralyze” the country, hoping this will somehow overturn the election.

Mr. Bolsonaro urged his supporters to halt disruptions. “Peaceful demonstrations will always be welcome,” he said. “But our methods cannot be those of the left, like property invasion, destruction of goods, and restrictions on the right to come and go.”

Observers say there is no turning back. The machinery of government is in motion. Leaders of Brazil’s Congress, the courts, and the military said the president’s comments were as close to a concession as he would give.

Mr. Bolsonaro and his right-wing movement will remain a major force in Brazil. His party won the most seats in Congress this month. His allies now run Brazil’s three biggest states. “Our dream is more alive than ever,” Mr. Bolsonaro said.

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is to be sworn in on January 1, 2023

Resource: The New York Times November 1, 2022




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