Bolsonaro Silences After Losing Brazil’s Presidential Election | CNN

CNN — One day after Luis Inacio Lula da Silva was declared victorious in Brazil’s 2022 presidential election, the incumbent Jair Bolsonaro has yet to publicly admit his defeat. The president’s delay in allowing Sunday’s primary has contributed to fears that the president will not cooperate in the transfer of power amid sporadic protests from supporters. Ahead of the vote, Bolsonaro and his allies made groundless allegations of election fraud and ill-treatment of the media. “A defeated president anywhere in the world would have called me by now and made concessions,” Lula da Silva told supporters on Sunday night. “He hasn’t called yet, and I don’t know if he will or whether he will admit it,” he said. But whether public concessions or not, experts say it’s already out of the hands of an outgoing president. It is Brazil’s highest electoral court that officially confirms the election results and communicates them to the Senate, House of Representatives and the state legislature. A media official from the Election Court told CNN that it considers the vote results already verified because the court declared the results on Sunday. A later brief session will officially confirm the win, but a date has not yet been set, he said. Electoral Court Chief Alexandre de Moraes called Lula da Silva and Bolsonaro directly on Sunday to inform them of the outcome and congratulate them on their participation in the democratic process, the tribunal’s press release said. De Moraes also said there wasn’t much room to challenge the election. “The results have been announced and accepted and those elected will take office on January 1,” he said in the announcement. Brazil’s Senate Speaker Rodrigo Pacheco has already publicly congratulated Lula da Silva and his supporters, as did Bolsonaro’s close ally, House Speaker Artur Lira. Foreign leaders from around the world also quickly expressed their support for Lula da Silva’s victory. “Congratulations to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as the next president of Brazil in a free, fair and credible election,” US President Joe Biden said after the vote on Sunday. And Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated him in a message reported by Russian state news agency TASS, adding that “the result of the vote confirms your high political authority.” The incoming president’s diplomatic work is already underway, and Lula da Silva met with Argentine President Alberto Fernandez, one of the first foreign leaders to congratulate him in São Paulo on Monday. At least twice before, the Brazilian leaders refused to participate in the transfer of power. When the Brazilian Republic began in the late 19th century, Field Marshal Floriano Peixoto did not attend the inauguration of his successor, Prudente de Moraes. And nearly 100 years later, João Batista Figueiredo, the last unelected military president, ignored the inauguration of his successor, José Sarney. In both cases, boycotts were largely symbolic. The same will happen if Bolsonaro refuses to recognize the presidency in a public statement, according to legal expert Augusto de Aruda Botelho. “Not recognizing the outcome is not a start from a political point of view,” he told CNN. “In the end, it’s the electoral college that hand over power to the winner of the election.” “[Bolsonaro] You can kick and scream as many times as you want.” What’s more, it’s in Bolsonaro’s political interests to emerge as a good sport, political scientist Camilla Rocha told CNN. Rocha’s research shows that refusing to make concessions will damage Bolsonaro’s public image among Bolsonaro supporters. “Even the most extreme pro-Bolsonaro supporters, like the people I interviewed in Santa Catarina last year for the investigation, say Bolsonaro should accept the loss,” she told CNN. “So it is very clear that if Bolsonaro refuses to accept Lula’s victory, it could have a negative impact on his supporters as well. He will definitely be perceived as a bad loser.” Nevertheless, roads and highways have been blocked by truck drivers and other supporters of pro-Bolsonaro since Sunday evening, causing major delays and disruption in at least 19 states across the country, according to affiliate CNN Brazil. So far, obstacles have been encountered in states including São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Bahia, Minas Gerais and Amazonas. A CNN flight attendant said nearly 100 protesters had blocked the highway leading to the airport as they approached São Paulo International Airport. Some people got off the taxi and started walking along the side of the highway to get to the terminal, the flight attendant said. Few vehicles stopped outside the airport’s Terminal 3, suggesting that most vehicles were caught in containment zones. São Paulo International Airport alerted passengers to check the fighting situation in a tweet stating that protests could make access to the airport terminal difficult. Many flights were delayed, according to an airline agent in an interview with CNN. Airline pilots and flight attendants were unable to get to the airport because the lockdown caused significant delays at the airport, the agent told CNN. Some officers on the way to the airport told CNN they were afraid of offending the protesters and tried to avoid confrontation. Some protesters have made it clear that they do not believe the election results. Bolsonaro supporter Luis Vallejo said, “We have a president who won the ballot box and they cheated the ballot box and put another candidate ahead, and we’re against it.” Another Zurandir Santos said that even if Bolsonaro accepts the result, “the people will not.” Senator Bolsonaro’s son in public comment for the first time by a member of the inner circle after Bolsonaro’s election defeat. Flavio Bolsonaro tweeted Monday afternoon thanking his father’s supporters, urging him to “never give up.” He said, “Thank you to everyone who helped save patriotism, to everyone who prayed, prayed, took to the streets and sweated for a country that worked for Bolsonaro to give him the biggest vote of his life! Raise our heads and never give up Brazil!” he wrote “God is in charge!” He added.

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