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Jair Bolsonaro plays mystery in Brazil after losing, remaining mute and isolated

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been silent and reclusive in his official residence in the nation’s capital since losing his bid for reelection to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, without providing any explanations. This has left a troubling sense of power vacuum at the highest level of government.

A first official explanation did not surface until after more than two weeks of incarceration, which observers viewed as a symptom of a furious refusal to accept loss.

According to his vice president, Hamilton Mourao, Bolsonaro, 67, has been kept in isolation in the Palacio de la Alvorada since October 30 owing to erysipelas, a bacterial infection of the skin that affects one of his legs.

“He has a medical issue. He cannot put on pants. How will he enter in shorts?” The vice president clarified information that the presidency had not yet confirmed to the daily The Globe.

Bolsonaro was detained for “a spiritual retreat,” according to a statement the vice president made to the newspaper Valor a short time earlier.

Bolsonaro’s incarceration may endure until the end of his tenure, which ends on January 1. General Mourao even made that implication.

“Not the president am I. I am unable to present Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva with the presidential sash “the vice president informed the newspaper in case Bolsonaro refuses this custom on January 1, 2023, the day of his successor’s inauguration. Valor.

Bolsonaro opted to go to bed that evening without acknowledging Lula’s victory in the second round of the elections, which he lost by just over two million votes.

Two days later, he made a brief and rambling address in which he acknowledged his defeat in part while appealing to his followers’ “outrage” and “sense of unfairness.”

His social media accounts, which were extremely active during his presidency, have been essentially silent for almost three weeks.

absences

This week’s COP27 climate conference and the G20 summit in Bali were both skipped by the president of Latin America’s largest country.

A diplomatic source from Argentina confirmed to AFP that he was replaced by his vice president for the presentation of the credentials of numerous ambassadors, including that of Argentina.

Only half-hour meetings with ministers or advisers are on his official schedule, which is disclosed by the presidency, and they always take place at Alvorada, the president’s official residence.

Bolsonaro also discontinued his weekly Thursday night Facebook livestream, in which he used to criticize the media’s coverage of current events and defend his leadership while addressing Brazilians directly.

political banner

The Getulio Vargas Foundation’s Oliver Stuenkel believes that the presidential silence is mostly political in nature.

For fear of issues with electoral justice, Bolsonaro “cannot formally recognize the result (of the election), but he also cannot overtly question it,” he told AFP.

The FGV professor advised the president that “silence is the best policy.” He does not want to lose the backing of his most ardent fans, who are protesting in support of military involvement in front of the army headquarters. And functions.

In protest of Lula’s victory, which they believe was “stolen,” thousands of demonstrators came to the streets of Brazil’s major cities on Tuesday, a holiday.

Internet users on social networks tended to favor the psychological explanation for the far-right president’s quiet.

“He is glum and uninterested. His immunity was shattered by his defeat “A Twitter user made a joke. Another questioned, “But where is that injury that keeps Bolsonaro from working?” “in the thigh? in one’s ego?”

Bolsonaro “stopped working,” but Sylvio Costa of the Congresso em Foco website did not rule out the possibility that his “denial has evolved into melancholy.”

first defeat

In more than 30 years, “this is his first setback following nine election victories”: he was elected as a councilor for Rio, a deputy seven times, and then president.

“I think he feels lost,” said Costa. “His friends desert him, he is the focus of a dozen investigations, and he fears going to jail.

What is possible between this moment and January 1?

Costa believes that Bolsonaro has the potential to “stay imprisoned or reappear with a coup statement and generate the greatest conceivable upheaval” for the Lula administration.

At the COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Lula was welcomed as if he were already the head of state and attended numerous high-level meetings. “Brazil is back!” he cried.

“People who win elections laugh, and people who lose elections grieve. I get the impression that those who lost today didn’t know how to lose, “On Saturday, the president-elect stated from Lisbon.

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