A day after his defeat to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in a hotly contested election, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has remained silent and has yet to concede.
Lula won the election on Sunday with 50.9% of the vote, while Bolsonaro received 49.1%. Lula received 60,345,999 votes, while Bolsonaro received 58,206,354 votes.
Bolsonaro, who was elected in 2018, had previously cast doubts about the electoral process. Days before the election, his party released a document alleging that government officials and contractors had the “absolute power to manipulate election results without leaving a trace.”
Reuters reported that Bolsonaro left his residence Monday and headed to the presidential palace.
Lula, 77, served two terms as Brazil’s president between 2003 and 2010. In March 2021, a Supreme Court judge annulled his corruption convictions from 2014, opening a path for his run in 2022. The court ruled that former judge Sergio Moro, who had joined Bolsonaro’s government as justice minister, was biased in the corruption trial.
Prior to Election Day, Bolsonaro said he only saw three alternatives for the election: victory, arrest or death. His comments have raised concerns over what could follow.
“We may experience an episode even more severe than the [Jan. 6] attack on the Capitol,” Edson Fachin, the country’s elections chief said, in a presentation earlier this year.
Bolsonaro supporters on Sunday began blocking highways, issuing calls for the former military paratrooper to refuse to concede.
Police on Monday reported 70 blockades in 11 states and the district of Brasilia, the country’s capital.
Bolsonaro, who ran in 2018 on the promise of cleaning up the country’s politics, is himself under a number of investigations. The investigations, relating to embezzlement of funds, wage theft, and mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic, had previously been stalled due to his presidential immunity and influence.