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Bolsonaro declines to concede Brazil defeat in first address

“I have always been labeled as anti-democratic and, unlike my accusers, I have always played within the four lines of the constitution,” Bolsonaro, flanked by greater than a dozen ministers and allies, instructed reporters in the official residence.

Bolsonaro misplaced Sunday’s race by a skinny margin, garnering 49.1% of the vote to da Silva’s 50.9%, in accordance to the nation’s electoral authority. It was the tightest presidential race since Brazil’s return to democracy in 1985 and marks the first time Bolsonaro has misplaced an election in his 34-year political profession, together with seven races for a seat in Congress’ Lower House.

Much like former U.S. President Donald Trump, whom Bolsonaro brazenly admires, the far-right incumbent has repeatedly questioned the reliability of the nation’s electoral system, claiming digital voting machines are susceptible to fraud. He by no means supplied any proof, even when ordered to accomplish that by the electoral courtroom.

That has led many political analysts to warn that Bolsonaro appeared to be laying the groundwork to reject election outcomes.

In current days, and with out a public assertion from Bolsonaro, truck drivers and different supporters of his blocked a whole lot of roads throughout the nation. Many stated the election had been fraudulent and a few referred to as for army intervention and for Congress and the Supreme Court to be disbanded.

Earlier Tuesday, Brazil’s Supreme Court ordered the federal freeway police to instantly clear the roads.

A majority of the courtroom’s justices backed the choice, which accuses the freeway police of “omission and inertia.” Failure to comply will imply its director might be fined up to 100,000 reais (greater than $19,000) per hour, be faraway from his duties and even face arrest. Federal prosecutors in Sao Paulo and Goias states stated that they had opened investigations into the blockades.

By midday Tuesday, freeway police stated that they had eliminated 306 blockades, however greater than 260 had been nonetheless in place.

“There is no doubt that, even though he might not be directly responsible for these actions, everything he has done as president stoked this, especially questioning the electoral process and the ballots,” stated Williams Gonçalves, a political science professor on the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

“Bolsonaro is completely isolated. Everyone responsible for other institutions has already recognized the election’s results,” Gonçalves stated.

In Sao Paulo — Brazil’s most populous state and largest economic system — visitors jams across the worldwide airport led to dozens of flight cancellations, with movies on social media displaying vacationers rolling their suitcases alongside the freeway in the darkish attempting to catch their flights. The highways had been cleared by Tuesday morning, however airport officers stated entry remained troublesome as visitors was nonetheless backed up in and out of the airport.

There, Dalmir Almeida, a 38-year-old protester, instructed The Associated Press that after finishing three days of strikes, he and others will drive their vehicles to the army barracks to ask for his or her assist. “The army will be in our favor,” he added.

At one other street block in Sao Paulo state, protesters set tires on fireplace. Several demonstrators had been wrapped in the Brazilian flag, which has been co-opted by the nation’s conservative motion for demonstrations. Huge strains of automobiles could possibly be seen snaking alongside the freeway.

Fears of escalation grew because the nation’s leftist Landless Workers’ Movement, a key ally of da Silva’s that has lengthy staged occupations of what it considers vacant or unused lands, requested its militants on Tuesday to manage demonstrations in a number of states to unblock roads.

Sao Paulo Gov. Rodrigo Garcia instructed a information convention that the time for negotiations was over, and he was not ruling out the usage of power by legislation enforcement.

“From now on, we are going to apply what the (Supreme Court) decision determined, starting with fines of 100,000 reais per hour for each vehicle that is contributing to this obstruction,” he stated.

In Minas Gerais, a key battleground state in the election, a video on social media confirmed a protester telling a reporter from the O Tempo information outlet that the election was “fraudulent” and warned of future protests. “We won’t stop as long as we don’t have a response from our president,” he stated. “We want Bolsonaro in 2023 and for the years to come.”

In Itaborai, a area in Rio de Janeiro state, an Associated Press reporter noticed truck drivers kneeling in entrance of law enforcement officials and refusing to evacuate.

Users on social media, together with in a number of Telegram and WhatsApp discussion groups with names like “Paralysation,” shared calls for that the army take the streets, or that Congress and the Supreme Court be disbanded and the president stay in workplace.

Following the election, the electoral authority blocked two dozen Telegram teams that defended a army coup and referred to as on their greater than 150,000 followers to manage demonstrations, in accordance to on-line information website UOL.

The Supreme Court’s choice on Tuesday permits common state police forces to reinforce federal freeway police, and the governors of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo states ordered them to deploy, information shops reported. The identical was completed in 2018, when an 11-day trucker strike brought Brazil to a halt.

Bolsonaro instructions vast assist from the police forces’ rank and file, nonetheless, and it wasn’t clear how efficient their involvement can be. Da Silva’s Workers’ Party had accused Bolsonaro’s marketing campaign of deploying legislation enforcement to create visitors jams and deter folks from voting on Election Day, and video footage shared on social media confirmed officers stopping buses.

Alexandre de Moraes, who presides over the the nation’s electoral authority, stated police checkpoints delayed voters, however didn’t cease them from reaching the polls.

The 2018 stoppage prompted meals costs to spike and left grocery store cabinets with out merchandise as gasoline stations ran out of gas. It prompted billions in losses and revealed the huge energy that truckers possess, notably once they manage by way of social media platforms.

Bolsonaro, a lawmaker on the time and months away from successful that yr’s presidential election, was an outspoken supporter of the truckers, who at the moment are amongst his constituents. This yr, his administration limited interstate fuel taxes to assist carry down costs and launched a monetary support program for truckers simply months earlier than the election.

On Tuesday, dozens of journalists from each nationwide and worldwide information shops remained camped outdoors the presidential residence in the capital, Brasilia, awaiting any signal that Bolsonaro would possibly converse in regards to the election or the freeway blockades.

“Bolsonaro’s strategy here, so far as there is one, seems to be strategic ambiguity,” stated Robert Muggah, co-founder of Igarapé Institute, a Rio de Janeiro-based assume tank targeted on safety. “He’s focused on the street, and if chaos ensues so much the better. There is a real risk that police inaction could ignite simmering tensions.”

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