Bolsonaro Breaks Silence
Brazil's conservative populist president, Jair Bolsonaro, addressed the nation for the first time yesterday since losing to former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Sunday's election. In the two-minute speech, Bolsonaro neither explicitly conceded nor recognized Lula's victory, but said he would follow the rules of the country's constitution. Following the speech, the president's chief of staff said he would begin the transition process.
Bolsonaro's public remarks came on the second day of protests from his supporters who blocked hundreds of roads across Brazil and cut off access to key locations, including a grain export port and a lane to São Paulo's international airport.
Lula won the presidential runoff by a thin margin, garnering 50.9% of the votes. The election was the tightest race in Brazil since the country's return to a democracy in 1985 and marked the first time Bolsonaro lost an election in his 34-year political career.