For two days as world leaders congratulated the new president-elect, Inacio “Lula” da Silva,” and Brazilian truck drivers loyal to Jair Bolsonaro snarled urban capitals to protest the poll, the defeated president “brooded” in the presidential palace in Brasilia, according to the Sunday Times of London.
Bolsonoaro, 67, also approached Brazil’s military, seeking support for a plan that Lula’s win could be challenged on the grounds of the former president’s previous convictions, CNN Brazil reported. The former two-term president also served time in prison on corruption charges.
Guided by his chief strategist, his son Carlos Bolsonaro, 39, the outgoing president also tried to set up a meeting with Brazil’s supreme court judges to discuss his own immunity from prosecution. Bolsonaro faces legal challenges on his alleged mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic and the environment, the alleged dissemination of fake news and undermining democracy.
Bolsonaro said last year that his options for 2022 were “prison, death or victory.”
Brazil’s Supreme Court judges unanimously refused to meet with him, and on Tuesday, nearly 48 hours after he lost the election, Bolsonaro made a two-minute public statement. He declared his faith in the constitution, his support of peaceful protest and his rejection of violent or disruptive protests. “Our dreams continue as alive as ever,” he told supporters, but he mentioned neither the election nor Lula’s victory.
“Those two days that Bolsonaro remained silent were carefully calculated,” Brazilian political scientist Guilherme Casaroes told the Sunday Times. “He first wanted to see how the streets would react, how his supporters would react, before he took the next step.” He added that the president’s speech was designed to placate those who wanted an end to the roadblocks that had spread to the country’s biggest cities while subtly inciting his supporters to remain in the streets, the newspaper reported.