Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro lost in a narrow defeat to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, more commonly known as ‘Lula’.
Bolsonaro lost by 1.8% after more than 118 million votes were tallied in an election where both sides were accused of attempting to suppress the vote of their opponent’s supporters.
On Tuesday, Bolsonaro broke a two-day-long silence after losing the election and held a press conference.
During his speech, he did not explicitly congratulate Lula or ‘concede’ defeat, though he did acknowledge that a transition of power would take place.
Bolsonaro hit out as his critics who claimed he was illiberal or Undemocratic during the speech.
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“I have always been labeled undemocratic and, unlike my accusers, I have always played within the four lines of the constitution,” he said.
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said Tuesday that he would “continue to fulfill all the commandments of our constitution” in a short speech at the presidential palace in Brasilia, after days of silence following his election loss to the leftist former leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
He did not explicitly concede defeat, though the event appeared to signal his intention to cooperate with the transfer of power.
Taking the podium after the President, chief of staff Ciro Nogueira said that he would work with the new government and is waiting for Lula da Silva’s transition team to begin the handover.
“President Jair Messias Bolsonaro authorized me, when it is time, based on the law, to start the transition process,” Nogueira said.
Notably, Bolsonaro’s brief address did not contest the vote result. Instead, he thanked those who voted for him and hit out at critics