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Wednesday, 02 November 2022 – Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has said he will respect Brazil’s constitution following his election defeat to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, after two days of public silence that fuelled concerns the far-right leader was planning to reject the results.
Bolsonaro was narrowly defeated on Sunday, garnering 49.1 percent of the vote to Lula’s 50.9 percent and becoming the first sitting president to lose a re-election bid in Brazil’s post-dictatorship era.
For months, he had falsely claimed the country’s electronic voting system was vulnerable to fraud which raised fears the former army captain could be preparing to contest the outcome.
In a brief statement to reporters at the presidential palace in Brasilia on Tuesday afternoon (Braziltime), November 1, Bolsonaro didn’t talk about his loss in Sunday’s run-off or concede defeat to Lula, but thanked his supporters for their backing.
“I have always been labelled undemocratic, and unlike my accusers, I have always respected the framework of the Constitution,” he said. “As President of the Republic and as a citizen, I will continue to respect all the commandments of our Constitution.”
Taking the podium after Bolsonaro’s address, his chief of staff, Ciro Nogueira, said the president had “authorised” a transition process to Lula’s government.
Lula had criticised Bolsonaro for not immediately conceding defeat or calling him after the election results were announced on Sunday evening. “Any place else in the world, the defeated president would have called me to recognise his defeat,” he said in his victory speech in Sao Paulo.
While Bolsonaro had remained silent in public statements and on social media many of his supporters erected road blockades in anger about his defeat.
Brazilian truckers, a key Bolsonaro constituency, have used burning tyres and vehicles to block key routes across the country, including outside the international airport in Sao Paulo, forcing several flight cancellations.
During his brief speech, Bolsonaro described the protests as the fruit of “indignation and a sense of injustice” over the vote. He said the demonstrators should avoid destroying property or “impeding the right to come and go”.