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Tens of thousands on the streets in Brazil for the ultra-right ex-president

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Tens of thousands on the streets in Brazil for the ultra-right ex-president

São Paulo. Last Sunday, former President Jair Bolsonaro called for a rally on Avenida Paulista, the main artery of the metropolis of São Paulo.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators dressed in the national colors took part in the march, which Bolsonaro called a “peaceful meeting for the rule of law and our freedom, families and the future.”

The ultra-right ex-president gave a speech and rejected allegations of an attempted coup. He called the investigation, which was “abused” by some people, a “persecution.” He called for amnesty for those involved in the coup attempt who were convicted of breaking into the presidential, congressional and Supreme Court buildings on January 8, 2023.

At Bolsonaro’s side, in addition to his wife Michelle, were various politicians, governors and a group of MPs as well as the influential Protestant pastor Silas Malafaia. In his speech, Malafaia sharply attacked the Supreme Court and warned of an “evil plot” that wants to arrest Bolsonaro.

Congressman Marco Feliciano, a member of Bolsonaro’s Liberal Party, also expressed support for the ex-president. Brazil “would descend into chaos” if the former president were arrested, he warned.

A source close to Bolsonaro quoted in the media says the ex-president is pursuing a strategy “to show his strength to the Supreme Court and stay politically alive even if he is arrested.” Just like the left-wing current President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who spent 580 days in prison on suspicion of corruption before the verdict against him was overturned. In times of political polarization in Brazil, Bolsonaro’s supporters also hoped to be able to show what political strength and social relevance he still has – despite his exclusion from the election until 2030 and the criminal investigations.

See also  Jair Bolsonaro is destroying Brazilian democracy

Bolsonaro’s supporters expressed their solidarity with Bolsonaro and rejected the allegations against the former head of state. At the same time, they took the opportunity to express their dissatisfaction with the current Lula government. According to Governor Tarcísio de Freitas, a Bolsonaro ally, more than 600,000 people took part in the rally. According to the University of São Paulo (USP), however, there were around 85,000.

There are currently several investigations underway against Bolsonaro. On the one hand, he is accused of attempting a coup involving high-ranking military officials. On the other hand, he is said to have written a decree that declared the election results null and void and he is said to have planned to imprison a judge of the Supreme Federal Court after his election defeat.

Bolsonaro’s passport was recently confiscated as part of the investigation.

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