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Bolsonaro says STF waiting for the moment to arrest him

Wednesday, September 1st 2021 - 08:50 UTC
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“One cannot speak of early treatment against the pandemic, one cannot speak against electronic voting,” Bolsonaro complained “One cannot speak of early treatment against the pandemic, one cannot speak against electronic voting,” Bolsonaro complained

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Monday upped the ante in his feud with the country's Federal Supreme Court (STF) saying the body was “preparing the ground” to arrest him, under charges of being a threat to democracy.

Bolsonaro called on the population to defend “freedom of expression” and to demonstrate against the highest court on September 7 (Independence Day), a call which the opposition deems to be a self-guided “coup d'état.”

“What they are looking for is to wait for the moment to apply a restrictive sanction on me, perhaps when I leave the government, later,“ Bolsonaro said during a radio interview. These remarks came a few days after he warned during an evangelical service that his fate had three options: ”Go to prison, die or be victorious.”

Bolsonaro took particular aim at STF Justice Alexandre de Moraes, who ordered him to be investigated for doubting the trustworthiness of the country's electronic voting system. De Moraes is also a judge of the Highest Electoral Court (TSE).

The president is also under investigation for the obscure deal to purchase COVID-19 vaccines made in India which never came to happen. “I say that we are facing very great pressure against freedom of expression. One cannot speak of early treatment against the pandemic, one cannot speak against electronic voting,“ said the far-right president.

On September 7, when 199 years have passed since the declaration of Independence, he called on the population to defend ”freedom of expression” and to participate in the mobilizations in Brasilia and São Paulo against the STF.

The call has drawn rejection amid financial markets towards the policies of Economy Minister Paulo Guedes. It has also fractured the powerful industrial sector.

Brazilian agribusiness entities had published a declaration in favor of Democracy Monday and as the country's main private banks - Itaú, Bradesco and Santander- were preparing to follow suit, the Government threatened to withdraw the state-run Banco do Brasil and Caixa Económica from the federation of banks (Febraban).

Vice President Hamilton Mourao said he defended the manifesto and maintained that banks and industry “are the basis of civilization.”

The CUT labor union, linked to the opposition Workers' Party of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, warned in a statement against the September 7 demonstrations: “It can not be held any longer, we live bordering on an institutional crisis. The apparent political inability that aims to disrupt harmony between branches of government hides a behavior that seeks to justify non-constitutional exits.”

Meanwhile, supporters of Bolsonaro are planning to stage their own Sept. 7 demonstrations in London. Participants are being recruited through the pages of pro-government groups on the internet such as Chega de Censura and Great Brasil Team. Under the motto “For the Freedom of Brazil”, protesters are called to appear in the early afternoon of the 7th in front of the Brazilian Consulate in London and, in the late afternoon, in front of the Brazilian Embassy.

On the opposite end of the political spectrum, former President Dilma Rousseff concurred weith the idea that Bolsonaro was planning a coup.

“What we are experiencing now is the possibility of a new coup based on the derivations of the hybrid war,” warned Dilma. She said this time around would be a “a coup within the coup” that began in 2016 when she was impeached out of office.

Rousseff also maintained September 7's demonstrations -which she dubbed “a dress rehearsal for a coup”- were being financed by soybean associations, police and evangelical groups.

”The coup has already happened (in 2016). What we are experiencing are the stages of the possible hardening of the political regime in Brazil. The government is flirting with the possibility of a coup within the coup,” said Rousseff, of the Workers' Party.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

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