Jair Bolsonaro had the mobilization he had planned to pressure the Supreme Court and the Congress to annul electronic voting, in a move that different sectors has interpreted as a flirtation with self-coup. Tens of thousands of people overflowed the streets of Brasilia, SÃ£o Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, which Bolsonaro used to his advantage, leading the events in the first two cities.
In Brasilia, Bolsonaro delivered a fiery speech targeting mainly the Supreme Court justices Alexandre De Moraes and Luiz Barroso, who is also president of the Superior Electoral Court.
Bolsonaro was direct and said: "Those who decide to act outside the law should either comply, or prepares to leave," and threatened Luiz Fux, president of the Court, whom he asked to dismiss Alexandre Moraes for initiating an investigation against him: "The head of the Court must destitute one of the judges, or the Court could suffer unwanted consequences."
LPO spoke with Creomar De Souza, CEO of the Dharma consultancy, who noted that "the speech did not differ in any way to the president's speech so far. The only differentiating element seems to be the fact that the massive presence of supporters gave the President the perception that he could name his rivals and say he would not comply with judicial decisions."
Regarding the massive participation of Bolsono's followers, De Souza said that "the involvement of the people in those demonstrations shows the organizational capacity of the militancy as well as the social and economic groups that support the president. They were relatively successful in terms of organization, transport logistics and momentum generation."
This is seen "in SÃ£o Paulo, more effectively than in Brasilia, which shows that there is a nucleus that will continue to be linked to the president, whatever his destiny," he added, citing an element that further enhances the comparison with Donald Trump, which Bolsonaro openly cultivates.
Creomar De Souza also commented on the probability that such a march would impact next year's presidential elections, which currently includes Lula as favorite. "It seems that the election will possibly be very tumultuous. If we analyze possible scenarios, even under different probabilities, the risk of this turbulence generating a serious institutional turmoil cannot be ruled out," and added "but, for now, the electoral calendar is on schedule," he added.
Finally, the analyst said: "there will surely be a reaction from the Supreme Court to the president's attacks, the question is what kind of reaction are we talking about."
It is unclear whether Bolsonaro reached his goal of mobilizing two million people, but he was able to show political muscle at a time of sliding polls and an economic situation marked by slower growth and inflation.
In addition, he managed to continue feeding the uncertainty about the electoral process, flirting with the idea of a coup, while leading some to wonder how he will react in case he is defeated by Lula in next year's presidential election, in October. "Only God will remove me from power," he said, mentioning three future scenarios: "Elected, imprisoned or dead."
A very important fact of the Brazilian leader's speech was the convening of the Council of the Republic, a space of institutional articulation that meets up in times of emergency, state of siege, federal intervention or "state of national commotion".
The Council was created in 1990 by Fernando Collor de Mello, but met only once in 2018 when Michel Temer decided to intervene in the security of Rio de Janeiro with former head of the Armed Forces Walter Souza Braga Netto, who is currently the Minister of Defense.
The Council is chaired by the President, the Vice-President, the Presidents of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, the leaders of parliamentary blocs and persons from civil society appointed by the Heads of Powers.
However, when asked about this issue, Vice President Hamilton Mourao said he did not know anything about it and replied: "I think the president made a mistake."
Opposition sources, both from the Workers' Party or and the Third Way, questioned by LPO, considered the act "a gesture of desperation," but acknowledged Bolsonaro's ability to return to the scenario and expose his views to a hard core militancy that supports him unconditionally.
The dilemma now is what the Congress and the Supreme Court will do following the attacks, and in view of the pressure from the opposing political parties to analyze a new request for the impeachment of the President.
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