President Jair Bolsonaro has left Brazil for the US, 48 hours earlier than his leftist rival President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was set to take workplace, saying he had “misplaced a battle however not the warfare.”
Bolsonaro, who has barely spoken since shedding the election, has not confirmed the place he’s going, however airplane monitoring information suggests he’s heading to Florida, the place his safety workers are already in place. He has repeatedly stated he doesn’t need to hand over the presidential sash to Lula at Sunday’s inauguration.
He can also face authorized dangers from remaining in Brazil as his presidential immunity expires when Lula takes workplace.
Vice President Hamilton Mourao is now performing president, his press officer instructed Reuters, confirming Bolsonaro had left the nation.
“I’m in flight, again quickly,” Bolsonaro was quoted as saying by CNN Brasil. His press workplace didn’t reply to a request for remark.
Web site FlightAware, which screens air site visitors, confirmed that the presidential airplane departed Brasilia shortly after 2pm native time, certain for Orlando, Florida.
Earlier than take-off, Bolsonaro delivered a teary-eyed last deal with on social media wherein he ran by way of the highlights of his time in workplace, sought to defend his legacy, and tried to encourage his followers into maintaining the struggle in opposition to Lula.
A few of his base have refused to just accept Lula’s victory, believing Bolsonaro’s baseless claims that the October election was stolen. That has contributed to a tense environment within the capital Brasilia, with riots and a foiled bomb plot final week.
Bolsonaro labeled the bomb plot a “terrorist act” for which there was no justification. He sought to distance himself from George Washington de Oliveira Sousa, the person who confessed to creating the bomb, and who instructed police that Bolsonaro’s name to arms impressed him to assemble an arsenal of weapons and explosives.
“The person had concepts that aren’t shared by any citizen, however now they classify him as a ‘Bolsonarista’,” the president stated.
Nonetheless, Bolsonaro additionally praised protesters who’ve been tenting outdoors military barracks throughout the nation, urging the army to stage a coup.
“I didn’t encourage anybody to enter confrontation,” he stated, including that his supporters had merely been in search of “freedom.” He stated the protests had been “spontaneous,” with no management or coordination.
Bolsonaro’s swift exit is a disappointment for a lot of on the proper, the place his fame has taken a beating for his post-election silence. His political associates need him to guide the conservative opposition to Lula with a view to ousting him within the subsequent election in 2026.
A few of his diehard supporters on the entrance of the Alvorada Palace, the place he lived, known as him a “coward” throughout his speech, based on a Reuters witness.