Explaining Brazil #221: Has Bolsonaro accepted the election results?

Almost 48 hours after losing the presidential election, Jair Bolsonaro broke his silence. But he stopped short of explicitly conceding to Lula

After Sunday’s presidential election was called in favor of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Jair Bolsonaro, the incumbent, went AWOL. He gave no statement on the results for over 43 hours. And when he spoke, he failed to explicitly recognize his defeat. 

Instead, he said he understood the reaction of some of his supporters to try to obstruct highways across the country (a move that could quickly turn into a supply shortage crisis if not dispelled soon enough). He said their anger is the “result of outrage and a feeling of injustice about how the election unfolded.” 

And while he did say curbing people’s right to come and go shouldn’t be part of his camp’s playbook, he failed to explicitly tell protesters to clear the roads.

Brazilian election runners-up aren’t legally obligated to give concession speeches, but it’s one of those political customs that help ensure the democratic process is happening as it should. So what do Mr. Bolsonaro’s words mean for the transition of power in Brazil?

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  • Alex Hochuli is a São Paulo-based political analyst and host of the Aufhebunga Bunga podcast, which discusses contemporary politics.

This episode used music from Uppbeat. License codes: ZPBRN08JSELKNBYS, QFMH5YMIVUOZBYPH, VO286BLA5TEWRIC6


Watch our special 2022 live broadcast. The Brazilian Report team hosted special guests on Election Day for a five-hour broadcast. Guests: Mario Sergio Lima (Medley Advisors), Sergio Praça (think tank Fundação Getulio Vargas), Andrei Roman (Atlas Intel).

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