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Brunei
Wednesday, December 7, 2022
26.7 C
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Wednesday, December 7, 2022
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    With Bolsonaro tamed in defeat, Brazil steps back from brink

    RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – In the run-up to Brazil’s presidential election, many feared a narrow result would be contested and spell the death knell for Latin America’s largest democracy.

    So far, however, the worst fears have been averted, despite a nail-biting victory for former leftist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva over far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, and ongoing protests by some of Bolsonaro’s supporters across the country.

    The conservative leader’s allies quickly recognised da Silva’s victory, the military stayed in the barracks and vigilant world leaders swooped in to offer support for da Silva and nip in the bud even the thought of anything resembling the January 6 insurrection that overtook the United States (US) Capitol.

    “All of Bolsonaro’s escape valves were shut off,” said Brian Winter, a longtime Brazil expert and Vice President of the New York-based Council of the Americas. “He was prevailed upon from all sides not to contest the results and burn down the house on his way out.”

    Although Bolsonaro has refused to congratulate da Silva, Brazil’s institutions generally seem to have held up.

    Bolsonaro gave a video statement on Wednesday calling for an end to the protests by his supporters. “I know you’re upset. I’m just as sad and upset as you are. But we have to keep our heads straight,” he said. “Closing roads in Brazil jeopardises people’s right to come and go.”

    Supporters of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro protest his defeat in the presidential run-off election, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. PHOTO: AP
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