Brazil prepares for Professional Bolsonaro rallies on Tuesday | World information
BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil prepared Monday for Independence Day demonstrations by supporters of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who called for a demonstration of support for his attacks on the country’s Supreme Court that are shaking Latin America’s largest democracy.
Security in the capital, Brasilia, has been tightened and police began blocking access to the central shopping mall, where thousands are due to march Tuesday to assist Bolsonaro in his clash with the judiciary over changes to the Brazilian electoral system.
Critics fear that the president is encouraging his supporters enough to attempt to intimidate or ambush the courts, and warn of parallels with supporters of former US President Donald Trump who stormed the Capitol after his election defeat.
Internationally, more than 150 left-wing former presidents and party leaders signed an open letter criticizing Bolsonaro for encouraging a replica of the January 6 “uprising” in the US Capitol.
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The demonstrations stir up “fear of a coup in the third largest democracy in the world,” warned the letter.
Bolsonaro said Friday the demonstrations were an “ultimatum” to Supreme Court justices who made “unconstitutional” decisions against his government.
The court has cleared investigations into Bolsonaro allies who allegedly attacked Brazil’s democratic institutions with misinformation on the internet. He described the court-ordered investigation as a violation of the right to freedom of expression.
Congress and the courts also opposed Bolsonaro’s attempt to introduce paper ballots as a backup to an electronic voting system that he believes is vulnerable to fraud. The electoral court considers the system to be transparent and secure.
Bolsonaro’s critics say he has doubts to challenge the results of next year’s election, which polls have now lost to former left-wing president Luiz Inacio Lula de Silva. Neither of them confirmed their candidacies.
Lula announced that he will be making a video address to the nation via social media at 7 p.m. (2200 GMT) Monday.
Brasilia will have 5,000 police and military personnel on hand to maintain order during the march in front of Congress, where Bolsonaro is due to appear on Tuesday morning.
In the afternoon, Bolsonaro will meet with supporters on a major street in midtown Sao Paulo to hold what he has forecast to be the largest political rally in Brazilian history.
Many left leaders have urged their supporters to avoid clashes by avoiding counter-demonstrations on Tuesday in favor of larger anti-Bolsonaro protests on September 12th.
Leading financial, industrial and agricultural companies in Brazil have also distanced themselves from Bolsonaro’s attacks on the Supreme Court and called for dialogue between the executive and judiciary as tensions threaten an economic recovery.
(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Brad Haynes and Marguerita Choy)
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