In Brazil, several hundred supporters of outgoing president Jair Bolsonaro tried to raid the federal police headquarters in the capital Brasilia on Monday to protest against the certification of the result of the presidential elections held on October 30, won by leftist candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva . Some groups of protesters they set fire to five buses and several cars in front of the police headquarters, where there were clashes with the forces of order, while others surrounded the hotel where Lula was staying. The police fired tear gas and smoke bombs to disperse the protesters. At least one person was injured in the clashes.
“Área central de Brasília, próximo a hotéis e à Torre de TV, vira cenário de Guerra
Ônibus and wagons queimados, prédios destruídos and placas, lixeiras and até botijões de gás jogados no chão após serem used as a weapon”
— ERIKA HILTON 🚩 🇧🇷 (@ErikakHilton) December 13, 2022
On Monday morning, the Brazilian electoral authorities certified Lula’s victory, which after a long initial silence was contested by Bolsonaro, as feared before the vote.
Demonstrations by supporters of the outgoing president intensified as Brazil’s Supreme Electoral Court also on Monday ordered the temporary arrest of a leading protester over his involvement in protests against the voting results: the indigenous leader José Acácio Serere Xavante he was arrested at the request of the national prosecutor’s office and will be in custody for ten days on charges of having committed anti-democratic acts. Xavante is accused, among other things, of using his position to persuade other people to “commit crimes” through protests and of threatening Lula’s safety.
After the October elections, Bolsonaro had asked the electoral authorities to cancel most of the preferences expressed by electronic voting. In particular, he had argued that a malfunction in the software of most of the machines used for voting had made the votes cast invalid, without however bringing any proof in this regard. By canceling the votes of the machines in question, Bolsonaro would have obtained 51 percent of the preferences and thus won the elections.
Many Bolsonaro supporters had also rejected the election results and staged large demonstrations and roadblocks in protest. Some had called for military intervention to prevent Lula from taking power, as others did on Monday at a meeting in front of the presidential palace: Bolsonaro joined the demonstrators for a brief prayer, but made no comment.