Donald Trump was a loser. He pretended that he won the US election for president. He did not concede to Joe Biden. He even tried to stop Biden from becoming president. He did not attend the inauguration of the new president.
Every country has a “lunatic edge.” People who believe what they want to believe. The facts don’t 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 that if he lost, it would be because opponents rigged the election against him.
The results showed that his opponent, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, won the elections. They all held their breath. Would Bolsonaro concede? Or would he say that he won and urge his supporters to take to the streets?
The answer so far is a bit of both.
The good news is that he told his government to transfer power to the winner of the election.
In a short speech, Bolsonaro thanked his supporters and asked the protesters to be peaceful. Bolsonaro spoke of his achievements. He said that 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.
This is all straight out of the Trump playbook.
Now the question remains of how his thousands of followers will receive his comments. They have blocked hundreds of highways across Brazil in an attempt to “paralyze” the country, in the hope that this will somehow nullify the elections.
Bolsonaro urged his supporters to stop the disruptions. “Peaceful demonstrations will always be welcome,” he said. “But our methods cannot be those of the left, such as the invasion of property, the destruction of property and the restrictions on the right to come and go.”
Observers say there is no going back. The government machinery is in motion. Leaders in Brazil’s congress, courts and military said the president’s comments were the closest he would come to a concession.
Bolsonaro and his right-wing movement will continue to be a major force in Brazil. His party won the most seats in Congress this month. His allies now run Brazil’s three largest states. “Our dream is more alive than ever,” Bolsonaro said.
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will be sworn in on January 1, 2023
Source: The New York Times November 1, 2022