President Jair Bolsonaro has decided not to attend an August 11 meeting with São Paulo industry federation Fiesp, where he was to be questioned about his economic plan for the next four years, The Brazilian Report has confirmed.
Fiesp has tried to organize meetings with presidential candidates to discuss their economic proposals in-depth. Just two days ago, Mr. Bolsonaro had confirmed he would attend the Q&A.
On the same day Mr. Bolsonaro was due to appear, a group of legal scholars from the University of São Paulo’s law school will publicly present a pro-democracy manifesto launched last week and already co-signed by over 714,000 people — including former government officials, bank owners, and former Supreme Court justices.
The document is largely a reaction to the president’s preliminary skepticism toward the result of this year’s presidential election.
Fiesp itself has signed a secondary manifesto (with a much softer tone) supported by banking federation Febraban, which will also be read at the same event.
Trailing in the polls, President Jair Bolsonaro has been reluctant to confirm his participation in televised debates against other candidates as a way to preserve himself from attacks. The move is similar to what Fernando Henrique Cardoso did in 1998 and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (this year’s frontrunner) did in 2006.