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The polls are “lies” launched Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday, beaten in the presidential election by the former left-wing head of state Lula, during a fiery speech in front of tens of thousands of supporters gathered in Brasilia to the bicentenary of independence.
On the occasion of the bicentenary of the independence of his country, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, given a presidential defeat by his rival Lula, declared that the polls are “lies”.
“Here it is not the Datafolha lie, here reigns the truth”, he affirmed about the reference institute which grants him only 32% of the voting intentions, far behind the former head of the State Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, at 45%, in the first round on October 2.
“They want to go back to the scene of the crime,” the president added of Lula’s Workers’ Party (PT), which ruled Brazil for 14 years. They won’t come back!”, he assured, while the crowd chanted: “Lula, thief!”.
A show of strength
Jair Bolsonaro intends to make the commemoration of the bicentenary a show of force, less than four weeks before the most polarized election in recent Brazilian history. “Never have I seen such a big sea with its green and yellow colors”, those of the national flag, he launched in front of the crowd which filled the gigantic Esplanade of the ministries of the capital.
On the other hand, neither the presidents of the Supreme Court, the Senate or the Chamber of Deputies were present, contrary to tradition. “Come to the streets, there is still time, dressed in green and yellow”, the national colors, had launched Bolosonaro to the Brazilians, during an interview with TV Brasil before the military parade which inaugurated the celebrations.
This day takes place under tension, the opposition accusing Bolsonaro of wanting to “usurp” the national holiday for electoral purposes. Last year, September 7 was marked by coup slogans in pro-Bolsonaro processions. The head of state had attacked the institutions and swore that “only God” could drive him out of power.
Thousands of strong supporters
The military parade, canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19, was surrounded by an exceptional security device. Jair Bolsonaro was to continue the bicentenary celebrations in Rio de Janeiro, along Copacabana beach where a parade of dozens of jet skis took place and where thousands of fervent supporters were already gathered at the end of the morning.
Among them, Suely Ferreira, 64, carried a banner calling on Bolsonaro “to put the armed forces into action to remove the judges of the Supreme Court”, his hero’s pet peeves. “A dictatorship in a toga (which) is ruining the country”, according to her. “He’s going to win, it’s not possible otherwise,” she said, “this event is very important to show the world that our president is loved.”
Traditionally, the Rio military parade is held about fifteen kilometers away. But the head of state insisted that this year, the soldiers march to the place where the Bolsonarist demonstrations usually take place. This decision took the town hall by surprise: Atlantica Avenue, which follows the coast in Copacabana, is much narrower than that of the center.
A compromise was finally found: there will be no tanks near the beach, but warships on the ocean and military planes in the sky, as well as demonstrations by paratroopers.
Jair Bolsonaro should first greet a crowd of bikers who promise a backfiring procession to Copacabana, before haranguing the demonstrators on a large platform rented by pastors of powerful evangelical churches. An intense campaign was carried out on social networks to rally as many demonstrators as possible and Bolsonarist youtubers launched calls for donations online.
One of the head of state’s sons, pro-weapon MP Eduardo Bolsonaro, for his part invited Brazilians who “bought a weapon legally” to volunteer in his father’s campaign. It remains to be seen whether Bolsonaro’s speech in Rio will be radical.
He has somewhat moderated his speech in recent weeks, even if he called Supreme Court judge Alexandre de Moraes a “thug” on Saturday, who notably opened several investigations against him for disinformation.