One day after losing the elections, President Jair Bolsonaro's “deafening” silence has Brazilians baffled about his intentions as some of his followers have staged road blockades urging the citizenry to rise against what they claim was electoral fraud.
Bolsonaro is yet to acknowledge defeat after former leftwing President Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva won with 50.9% of the votes to start his third term in office on Jan. 1, 2023.
While protesters, mostly lorry drivers, have staged road blockades nationwide calling for action to prevent Lula from taking office with hundreds of road blockades nationwide, Bolsonaro's silence keeps the country and the world in suspense. During his campaign, he had threatened to only concede defeat if he considered the elections to have been transparent.
The only Bolsonarist voice so far has been that of Senator Flavio Bolsonaro, the president's eldest son, who thanked his father's voters for their support and vowed on Twitter not to give up on Brazil.
Obrigado a cada um que nos ajudou a resgatar o patriotismo, que orou, rezou, foi para as ruas, deu seu suor pelo país que está dando certo e deu a Bolsonaro a maior votação de sua vida! Vamos erguer a cabeça e não vamos desistir do nosso Brasil! Deus no comando!— Flavio Bolsonaro #B22 (@FlavioBolsonaro) October 31, 2022
Congresswoman Gleisi Hoffmann, who chairs Lula's Workers' Party (PT), said that, if in 48 hours there is no pronouncement from the president, they will unilaterally initiate the transition process.
CNN Brazil reported that Bolsonaro would acknowledge his defeat shortly, but he also intends to list the irregularities he noticed in this year's elections. Meanwhile, according to O Globo, Bolsonaro will not contest the election result, but neither will he congratulate Lula.
Trucker blockades have been recorded at no less than 70 points on highways in 12 states nationwide, according to the Federal Police. In Teresópolis, a mountain city about 100 km from Rio de Janeiro, a group of demonstrators interrupted traffic on the national highway BR-116, allowing only cars to pass along the roadside. The blockade, set up with burning tires, prevented the passage of hundreds of trucks, which were stranded for hours.
Protesters have pledged not to drop their measures as long as things don't change, it was reported.