Bolsonaro left Brazil for the United States before the end of his mandate

The head of state should not be present on Sunday at the investiture ceremonies in Brasilia of the new president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

President Jair Bolsonaro left Brazil on Friday for the United States, two days before the end of his mandate and the enthronement of his hated left-wing successor Lula in Brasiliareported several media.

Jair Bolsonaro, who has never congratulated Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of his victory, should therefore not be present on Sunday at the investiture ceremonies in Brasilia of the new president, whom he had to gird with the presidential sash according to the protocol. Questioned by AFP, the presidency did not wish to confirm this information. Vice President Hamilton Mourao is acting President and will speak on Saturday evening, national radio RNR announced.

After bidding farewell to his supporters live on social media, but without mentioning a departure, Jair Bolsonaro boarded an air force plane around 2 p.m. (1700 GMT), O Globo media, CNN reported. Brasil, Estadao and the UOL news site. “I’m in flight, I’ll be back soon“said the populist head of state to the CNN Brasil channel.

The convoy carrying Jair Bolsonaro upon arrival in Orlando, Florida. OCTAVIO JONES / REUTERS

His military plane, identified by the code BRS1, landed in the Florida city of Orlando shortly after 02:00 GMT on Saturday, according to the specialized site FlightAware. The general secretariat of the presidency authorized the exit of the territory of members of the personnel in charge of the security of the “future ex-president“for a trip to Miami”from January 1 to 30, 2023“, according to the Official Journal on Friday.

It should be the first time since 1985 that an outgoing Brazilian president decides not to gird his successor with the presidential sash. That year, the last president of the military dictatorship established in 1964, General João Figueiredo, refused to participate in the investiture ceremony of his successor, José Sarney.

Since the narrow victory of Lula, his sworn enemy, on October 30, Jair Bolsonaro has lived almost as a recluse in Brasilia and has locked himself in silence, giving various signs of depression. For Créomar de Souza, founder of the consulting firm Dharma, the departure of Jair Bolsonaro to the United States takes on the aspects “of a leak» but also of «a denial of reality“. But it is also “an attempt to delegitimize the outcome (of the election) and the next government“, adds the analyst.

The best of me»

Earlier in the day, the Brazilian president said goodbye to his supporters, speaking for the first time since his electoral defeat on social networks – where he had been omnipresent for four years – and wiping away a few tears. “The world won’t stop spinning on January 1 (…) We have a great future ahead of us“Assured Bolsonaro. “We lose battles, but we don’t lose the war“.

He spoke directly to his followers who continue to camp outside army barracks or HQ in Brasilia and other cities to demand military intervention to prevent Lula from taking office. “I never thought I’d come this far“, said the incumbent president in tears, before declaring: “At least we delayed Brazil’s collapse for four years with this nefarious leftist ideology“. “I gave my best“, continued Jair Bolsonaro, most of whose analysts consider the results of the mandate as very bad. Outside his official Alvorada Palace residence, demonstrators following the live transmission shouted “cowardly!», «shame!“.

The president for the first time condemned an attempted attack by one of his supporters who planted an explosive device in a tanker truck near Brasilia airport for “create chaosbefore Lula’s enthronement. “Nothing justifies this attempt at terrorism“, he said, without however condemning the encampments of his supporters in front of army headquarters, which pose a threat to the progress of the investiture for which security has been reinforced.

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