Brazil: Bolsonaro still silent, complicated mandate in sight for Lula

Brazil: Bolsonaro still mute, complicated mandate in sight for Lula< /p> UPDATE DAY

Brazil was on Monday anxiously awaiting recognition of its defeat by President Jair Bolsonaro, walled in silence since the announcement of the presidential victory , acclaimed worldwide, of Lula, whose mandate promises to be complicated.

After losing on Sunday by a narrow margin (50.9 %-49.1 %), the incumbent head of state – until the transfer of power on January 1 – had isolated himself in his official residence from Alvorada to Brasilia.

He went to the Planalto Palace, the seat of the presidency, on Monday morning, without making the slightest statement, noted an AFP photographer.

This heavy silence, which Lula said he was “worried about” on Sunday evening, reminded many Brazilians that Jair Bolsonaro had repeatedly threatened not to recognize the verdict of the ballot box if he lost.

This climate uncertainty was reflected in the volatility of the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange, Latin America's leading financial center, which, after opening in the red, gained 0.40% at 3:30 p.m. GMT.

The blocking of roads in at least 11 states and in Brasilia, according to the traffic police, by Bolsonarian truckers and other demonstrators often wearing the yellow and green t-shirt of the radical right was also worrying. 

< p> Barrages of burning tires or vehicles were erected on roads in Mato Grosso (center-west), announced Concessionaria Rota Oeste, the manager of a highway in this agricultural state which votes Bolsonaro, but also roads in Parana and Santa Catarina (south), Bolsonarist strongholds. 

A highway linking the metropolises of Rio and Sao Paulo in the southeast was also blocked, without it being possible to know whether the movement was spontaneous or coordinated by a political group.

“Strong relations”

“While the risk of short-term demonstrations is high, that of a serious institutional crisis is very low”, however, estimated the consultants of Eurasia Group.

Lula's victory was greeted around the world by an avalanche of messages from foreign leaders, from Washington, London, Paris, Beijing, Moscow, New Delhi, Buenos Aires to the European Commission, many of whom expressed their impatience to renew relations. solid and productive relations with Brasilia, after four years of diplomatic isolation under Jair Bolsonaro.

Many leaders took the opportunity to remind Lula how important the file of the protection of the Amazon, where deforestation has broken records since 2019, was a priority for the future of the planet.   

The main funder for the protection of the largest tropical forest in the world, Norway has announced the release of its funding suspended since 2019.

“Brazil is ready to resume its leadership in the fight against climate crisis (…) Brazil and the planet need a living Amazon, “said Lula on Sunday evening, in his victory speech.

Lula's government will have to restore resources to organizations monitoring deforestation in the Amazon, very weakened by cuts in credits, dismemberments and total impunity for all kinds of traffickers.

 “Pacifying the country”

Lula's mandate promises to be complicated. 

Already anticipating difficulties, he had hoped on Sunday that “the government ( outgoing) is civilized” and understands that “it is necessary to make a good transfer of power”.

Lula will have to bring together a Brazil battered by four years of tumultuous management by his predecessor, a country cut in two by the most polarized and brutal campaign in its recent history.

“Half the population is unhappy of the result, notes for AFP Leandro Consentino, a political scientist from the private Insper University of Sao Paulo, 58 million voters having voted Bolsonaro. “Lula will have to pacify the country”.

There “are not two Brazils”, Lula said on Sunday. “I will govern for 215 million Brazilians”.

The icon of the left will also have to deal with a Parliament that the legislative elections of October 2 have leaned more towards the radical right, the Liberal Party (PL) of Jair Bolsonaro having become the first formation in the Chamber of Deputies as in the Senate. 

Lula has assembled a motley coalition of around ten formations around his Workers' Party (PT) and will have to use all his negotiating skills to govern from the center.

Within two months of transition, the future president must make announcements on the composition of his government.

Lula could leave room for more diversity in his team: women — he doesn't Only one remains in the last Bolsonaro government — people of color and indigenous people, one of whom is expected to lead a newly created Ministry of Indigenous Affairs.

Another daunting challenge for Lula&nbsp ;: it will have to finance the social policies promised his, but without economic growth under his previous mandates (2003-2010).