Bolsonaro lost the presidential race in Brazil, but won the cultural battle

To analyse. But what happens to him? Since his defeat in the October 30 ballot, Jair Bolsonaro has remained as silent as he is absent. The president of Brazil, defeated by Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has lived for weeks recluse in his official residence of Alvorada in Brasilia. The outrageous and vociferous captain of the past has become mute. He no longer speaks, no longer tweets and has abandoned his traditional Thursday “lives” on social networks. His official agenda remains hopelessly empty.

The most urgent tasks, such as the accreditation of new ambassadors, are entrusted to the vice-president, the General Hamilton Mourao. Since his defeat, Jair Bolsonaro has only moved two or three times to his Planalto offices, on the Place des Trois-Pouvoirs. He did not go to COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh (Egypt) or to the G20 in Bali (Indonesia), a first for a Brazilian head of state. Those close to him describe him as “apathetic”even ” depressive “. Some say he has a bacterial infection in his legs.

In many ways, Bolsonaro appears momentarily discouraged. After the second round, he thwarted all predictions. Emerging from a heavy silence of forty-eight hours, the far-right leader, who had for months threatened the country with a putsch, ended up choosing appeasement, promising to respect the Constitution and condemning violent demonstrations. of his most fanatical supporters. ” It’s finish “, went so far as to entrust the chastened troublemaker to the judges of Brasilia.

Unprecedented anchoring in institutions

Many would like to see in Lula’s victory the birth of a “new Brazil” rid of its demons. In the “country of the future”, we have the culture of the “clean slate”: the State has already had three capitals, twelve currencies and as many flags… everything can always be started from scratch. Serious mistake: Jair Bolsonaro is far from “finished”, and his political history is anything but finished. The movement he triggered, guided and stimulated is in a position of strength and could be sustained.

Let us judge by the results of the October 30 elections: the far-right leader won 49.1% of the vote in the second round, ie the vote of more than 58 million voters. Lula’s victory (50.9%) was hanging by a thread, with a lead of 2 million votes, a drop of water in a country with 156 million voters. Without the votes of the Nordeste, acquired on the left, Jair Bolsonaro would probably have won hands down against the leader of the Workers’ Party.

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