He remained cautious and still silent. Brazil’s incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro has resurfaced after spending several weeks in retreat and attended a ceremony at the military academy on Saturday, but remained silent almost a month after his electoral defeat by a left-wing candidate, Lula, whom he does not recognize.
At his first official event since the October 30 elections, Bolsonaro, a former army captain, presided over the official graduation ceremony at the Agulhas Negras (Aiguilles Noires) Military Academy in Resenda, Rio de Janeiro.
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Bolsonaro, dressed in a dark suit and tie, with a clearly distressed face, remained standing next to Vice President Hamilton Murao and Brazilian Defense Minister Paulo Sergio Nogueira, both generals.
Reduced agenda, unusual silence on social media
But the one who is due to leave power at midnight on December 31 did not say a word about the approximately 400 officer candidates and other people present at the military headquarters. “Let me begin my remarks by thanking President Bolsonaro for his presence, which illuminates the event with his presence here,” said Army Commander Marco Antonio Freire.
After the election victory of Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, 67-year-old Jair Bolsonaro has practically retired to his official residence in Alvorada. His agenda is small, punctuated by only a few meetings with ministers and allies.
His social accounts, in which he was very active during his presidency, remained inactive for almost a month. Three days after the election, Brazil’s president reappeared on video to ask his supporters to “unblock” roads occupied in protest of the poll results.
Since then, the president of the most important nation in Latin America has not spoken publicly. He also did not attend either the G20 meeting in Bali or COP27 in Egypt. The president’s aides and allies explained Bolsonaro’s absence in various ways, prompting in turn an alleged “sadness” after his electoral debacle or a bacterial skin infection on one of his legs.
Some of his supporters continued to demonstrate outside the barracks in various cities demanding military intervention against the results of the vote. According to local media reports, Jair Bolsonaro greeted several supporters who gathered outside the military academy on Saturday to demand the intervention of the “anti-sling” military forces at the polling stations.