Brazil: Bolsonaro Vows To Follow Constitution, Orders Transition To Lula

On Tuesday, Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro vowed to respect the country's Constitution and urged those blocking roads in protest over his defeat to president-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to disperse.

Brazil: Bolsonaro Vows To Follow Constitution, Orders Transition To Lula
Image credit: Bloomberg/Getty Images [via NPR]

Facts

  • On Tuesday, Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro vowed to respect the country's Constitution and urged those blocking roads in protest over his defeat to president-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to disperse. Though he fell short of formally conceding Lula's victory, he authorized his Chief of Staff Ciro Nogueira to start the formal transition of the presidency — the process is set to begin on Thursday.
  • This comes after Bolsonaro's two-day silence raised fears that he would cast doubt on the election result. His supporters blocked major highways to protest his defeat, with some calling for a military coup to stop Lula — who had previously held the office of president of Brazil for two consecutive terms — from returning to power.
  • Leftist politician Lula was elected to become the next president of Brazil on Sunday, garnering almost 51% of the ballot to defeat right-wing incumbent Bolsonaro, who had been seeking a second term in the runoff vote.
  • The result marks a political comeback for the former president, who was imprisoned in 2018 on charges of corruption and money laundering. His conviction was annulled by Brazil's top court in 2021, clearing him to run for president again.
  • Lula's victory comes as voters in Latin America have been punishing right and center-right incumbents in charge during the COVID pandemic.
  • The new president is expected to govern moderately and make concessions in order to build a broad coalition, as Congress is reportedly right-leaning and Lula's left-wing allies represent less than a quarter of the seats in the lower house.

Sources: CNN, CNBC, FT, Bloomberg, Reuters, and France24.

Narratives

  • Left narrative, as provided by Guardian. This result represents not only a remarkable comeback for former Pres. Lula — who was sidelined from the 2018 election — but also a comeback for the entire country after the disastrous and polarizing far-right presidency of Bolsonaro. Democracy has won and Brazil has unified in the fight against deforestation, hunger, and racism.
  • Right narrative, as provided by FOX News. Judicial activism harmed Bolsonaro's campaign by upholding partisan accusations that Brazilian democracy was under threat, and censoring media and the candidate's supporters. Despite significant evidence of his involvement with money laundering and corruption, Brazilian courts played a decisive role in enabling Lula to run, as well as helping him to victory.

Predictions