Ousted Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro begs angry supporters to 'respect the rights of other people'
Brazil's soon-to-be-former President Jair Bolsonaro is encouraging his right-wing supporters to respect the results of Sunday's election, which he narrowly lost to leftist challenger and ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Bolsonaro garnered a reputation as the "tropical" Donald Trump – who endorsed him – due to his embrace of conspiracy theories surrounding non-existent election fraud and COVID-19 vaccines. Prior to the election, Bolsonaro had vowed to contest the results if he had lost to Lula, who previously led the planet's fourth-largest democracy from 2003 to 2011.
But as of Wednesday, with protests growing and his most ardent supporters clogging highways and calling for a military coup, Bolsonaro has backed off his threats and pleaded for his followers to respect the outcome. And while he has not officially conceded, Bolsonaro is cooperating with the transition of power. Lula's inauguration will take place on Sunday, January 1st, 2023.
“I know you’re upset and sad, that you hoped for a different outcome. I did too, I’m also sad and upset just like you," Bolsonaro said in a brief video address posted to Twitter. The translation from Portuguese into English was provided by The Daily Beast.
“We have to get our heads on straight," he continued, noting that while demonstrations are “part of the democratic process," “there’s something not okay this time," referring to the blocking of transportation arteries as “infringing on the rights of people laid out in our constitution.”
Bolsonaro added that "we always have to... respect the rights of other people who are trying to get from one place to another, aside from hurting our economy… I know our economy is very important, maybe you’re giving more importance to other things right now, it’s legitimate, but I want to make an appeal to you. Please clear the roads. This is not part of a legitimate protest. We’re going to lose our own legitimacy with this."
He further stressed that "everyone is losing with these blocked roads…. please don’t think badly of me. I just want the best for you, for all this time as your president, we’ve been working to bring back patriotism, to defend the family, defend freedom, we’re not going to throw this away. We’ll work together. I’m with you and I know you’re with me. I’m just asking you to clear the roads.”
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\u201c- Presidente Jair Bolsonaro pede a manifestantes que desobstruam as rodovias:\u201d— Jair M. Bolsonaro 2\ufe0f\u20e32\ufe0f\u20e3 (@Jair M. Bolsonaro 2\ufe0f\u20e32\ufe0f\u20e3) 1667428700
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