| 17 April 2024, Wednesday |

Brazil’s Bolsonaro does not concede to Lula, but authorizes transition

In his first public remarks since losing the election on Sunday, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said protests by his supporters were the result of “indignation and a sense of unfairness” with the results.

He refrained from appealing the election results, instead directing his chief of staff Ciro Nogueira to meet with representatives of the left-leaning President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to start the transition.

It took Bolsonaro, a right-wing nationalist, more than 44 hours to comment after the election was decided by electoral authorities, with the delay raising fears he would seek to cast doubt on the narrow result.

Amid his silence, supporters blocked highways to protest his defeat, with some calling for a military coup to stop former president Lula from returning to power.

The highway blockades have disrupted fuel distribution, supermarket supplies, and the flow of grains exports to major ports, according to industry groups.

In his brief national address, Bolsonaro joked that journalists would miss him, thanked those who voted for him and said he would abide by the constitution, which stipulates a transition of power on Jan. 1.

“The current popular movements are the fruit of indignation and a sense of injustice about the way the electoral process took place,” he said.

He said protesters should avoid destroying property or “impeding the right to come and go,” but did not tell them to return home.

  • Reuters