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Bolsonaro breaks silence but does not acknowledge defeat

November 1, 2022

Brazil's outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro said he would "comply" with the constitution but did not concede defeat in Sunday's presidential election.

 Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (C) makes a statement for the first time since Sunday's presidential run-off election, at Alvorada Palace in Brasilia, on November 1, 2022.
Bolsonaro had stayed silent in the Alvorada Palace in Brasilia since Sunday's election which he narrowly lostImage: Evaristo Sa/AFP

Brazil's outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro has made his first address since being defeated in Sunday's presidential polls.

In a very short statement with no concession of defeat or congratulations to leftist former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva who triumphed, Bolsonaro said that he would "comply" with the constitution while thanking those who voted for him.

Supreme Court says Bolsonaro admitted defeat

Shortly after the release of the statement, Brazil's Supreme Court said that Bolsonaro had recognized the result of the election by authorizing the start of a transition to a government by Lula.

One of Bolsonaro's closest advisers said the same after the 67-year-old had left the press conference without taking questions.

Official results showed Lula's margin of victory was narrow, at 50.9% to 49.1%. But with almost 120 million valid votes cast, that also equates to a winning margin of just over 2 million votes.

There had been speculation that Bolsonaro would contest the result after questioning the reliability of the country's electronic voting machines in recent months.

"He began thanking his supporters. He recalled the 58 million votes he got last Sunday. But he didn't say 'I accept the results of last Sunday's election.' And actually that was the phrase that we were all expecting. He didn't do it. He didn't mention Lula da Silva, he didn't congratulate the president-elect. It was a very short statement," DW's Johan Ramirez in Rio de Janeiro said, adding it was also unusual for Bolsonaro not to field questions. 

Interesting is what Bolsonaro didn't say: DW's Johan Ramirez

Bolsonaro welcomes 'peaceful' protests

Truck drivers supporting the far right politician blocked roads in 20 states on Monday as Bolsonaro remained silent on losing the election.

"Peaceful protests will always be welcome," Bolsonaro said. "But our methods must not be those of the left, which always harm the population, like invading property... and impeding the right to come and go."

According to federal highway police, truckers staged more than 230 protests to partially or fully block roads in 20 states.

kb, jsi/dj (Reuters, AFP)