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The keys to Bolsonaro’s return to Brazil and the uncertain future that awaits him

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Mar 31, 2023 08:04 GMT

Analysts say that the government’s strategy involves ignoring the provocations of the far-right.

Former president Jair Bolsonaro, 68, wanted a prominent arrival in Brazil after spending three months in the US and there were even rumors that he would take a convertible ride to greet his supporters. It was not so.

Bolsonaro traveled on a commercial flight and at the airport he went through the usual international disembarkation procedures and, following the established security protocols, he left through a reserved area to avoid a possible riot.

His impatient supporters left the exit door when the deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro, son of the far-right, informed them that his father had already left.

Several Military Police vehicles escorted his car to the headquarters of the Liberal Party (PL), the majority formation in the Chamber of Deputies and which he joined a little over a year ago to stand in the elections. There, he met his wife, Michelle, and prominent political leaders.

First statement

In his first speech at the PL headquarters in Brasilia, Bolsonaro charged against the government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva: “We are going for those people who for now, and for a short time, are in power, (so that) they cannot do whatever you want with our nation.”

Later, he held a closed-door meeting to discuss his future political strategy. Before getting on the plane, Bolsonaro declared that he “is not going to lead any opposition.” “You don’t have to oppose this government. This government is an opposition in itself,” he claimed to CNN.

This Thursday, the president of the PL, Valdemar Costa Neto, declared that Bolsonaro and Michelle —who chairs the women’s section of the PL— will tour the country with their sights set on the 2024 municipal elections, a thermometer for the 2026 presidential elections. According to Costa Neto , the PL aspires to conquer “60% of the mayors’ offices” in the country.

The journalist Miriam Leitão recalled that “it cannot be ignored that [Bolsonaro] He is a leader who left the country and did not comply with the constitutional obligation to pass the presidential sash to his successor.” “That dwarfed him,” he asserted.

“They Got Money, Man”

His return also comes in the midst of a controversy in the case of the jewels that Saudi Arabia gave to him and his wife during his tenure, and that they tried to smuggle into the country illegally. This, in the opinion of analysts, has eroded the image of the former president, who next week will have to testify before the Police.

When asked this Thursday about the reason why Saudi Arabia gave him a gift valued at 16.5 million reais (about 3.2 million dollars), Bolsonaro answered: “The queen of England, already deceased, received 50 million reales (more than 9.5 million dollars). They have money, man. It is a pleasure for them to give that gift.”

Bolsonaro lands in Brasilia after spending three months in the US (VIDEO)

Bolsonaro will also have to face the investigations against him in different judicial instances, including one for allegedly inciting the attacks on January 8, when hordes of Bolsonaro assaulted the headquarters of the three powers in Brasilia. The extreme right could be politically disqualified or accused in a criminal proceeding.

For the moment, Lula’s government has limited itself to ignoring Bolsonaro’s arrival and this morning the president published a message detailing his agenda for the day.

Analysts assure that the Executive’s strategy will involve avoiding any attack by Bolsonaro at all costs and focusing only on the scandals that dot the far-right.

Who did comment on Bolsonaro’s arrival was Gleisi Hoffmann, president of the Workers’ Party (PT). “Are you coming back, genocide? Here is my message for the fugitive who has a lot to explain and answer. Now times are different and the people have a serious, responsible government that takes care of the people,” she snapped in a video that he posted on social media.

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