The Brazilian Armed Forces ask that the disputes be resolved through democratic means in their first statement after the elections | International

Bolsonarist protesters make a military salute, this Thursday in a coup protest before the Army headquarters in Brasilia, this Thursday.UESLEI MARCELINO (REUTERS)

The heads of the Brazilian Army, Navy and Aviation have released a joint note this Friday, 12 days after the elections, and while the protests demanding their intervention to prevent Luiz Inácio da Silva from assuming power persist, but with much less force. The military leadership affirms in the statement that the disputes must be resolved through instruments of the democratic state of law and supports the peaceful demonstrations. They proclaim their “unrestricted commitment to (…) democracy and political-social harmony.” The statement comes after the closest elections in the history of Brazil, where leftist Lula defeated retired military officer Jair Bolsonaro, by 1.8 points, at the head of a broad coalition to save democracy.

Although Brazil has undertaken the transfer of powers and this is taking place through the channels provided for by law, the refusal of the outgoing president to acknowledge his defeat and congratulate his rival has given wings to his most radical followers, who have been demonstrating for days in front of the barracks to call for military intervention. The highest commanders of the Armed Forces emphasize in the statement that “the solution to possible disputes within society must use the legal instruments of the democratic rule of law.”

The note from the uniformed men recalls that the Constitution protects criticism of the powers. The military condemns “the possible restrictions of rights by public agents”, the excesses in the demonstrations that may restrict rights, put public safety at risk or that “feed disharmony in society.” Words that are interpreted in Brazil as, on the one hand, a criticism of the decisions of the Superior Electoral Court to silence some prominent Bolsonarists on social networks who were airing falsehoods about the elections. On the other hand, they criticize the roadblocks that have now disappeared.

The coup concentrations in front of the barracks have diminished notably, but they could gain strength because there are new calls. President Bolsonaro has defended them with the argument that they are peaceful, ignoring that they are calling for a coup. The note from the military leadership has been received with joy in the Bolsonarist Telegram groups because they consider it a guarantee to maintain the mobilizations as long as they do not lead to violence.

Lula has been in Brasilia for days, where he has met with the highest representatives of the Legislative and Judicial Branches, in addition to having contacts with representatives of various parties. He is looking for parliamentary support to carry out his still not very detailed plans.

Some of his words in a speech, in which he lamented to tears that fighting hunger should be a priority again, like two decades ago, caused an earthquake in the markets. The president-elect wondered: “Why are people made to suffer in order to guarantee such fiscal stability?” And the stock market fell 4% while the dollar soared to 5.35 reais.

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The economic power is impatient for the founder of the Workers’ Party (PT) to appoint an Economy Minister as soon as possible and begins to detail how he intends to finance his promises.

Meanwhile, analysts are scrutinizing the names of the members of the transition team to try to guess who will be the next ministers who will accompany Lula in his third term. The election winner flies next Tuesday to Egypt’s climate summit, COP 27, on his first trip abroad since his victory. In this way he intends to send the message that the Amazon and the protection of the environment and the indigenous people will be central to his government.

Meanwhile, his adversary, Bolsonaro, remains in prison. Since his defeat, he has only been seen in public when almost two days after the result was made official (50.9% for Lula, 49.1% for Bolsonaro) he appeared but without verbally acknowledging the result. Lula’s inauguration is scheduled for January 1.

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