Sun, 10 Dec 2023

Bolsonaro Lands Back in Brazil to Lead Right-wing Opposition

Voice of America
01 Apr 2023, 09:07 GMT+10

Brazil's far-right former President Jair Bolsonaro returned from the United States on Thursday, greeted by hundreds of supporters at capital Brasilia's airport to welcome him back after three months.

Bolsonaro, who never conceded defeat in last year's election, is expected to lead the opposition to leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, officials in his PL party said.

Before boarding a plane in Orlando, Bolsonaro played down his leadership role and said he will use his experience to help his party, the Liberal Party, campaign in local elections, adding that the October vote he lost was a closed chapter.

'We have turned a page, and now we will prepare for next year's election,' he told CNN Brasil.

Bolsonaro left for the United States two days before he was due to hand over the presidential sash to Lula on Jan. 1. He said he needed rest, but critics say he was avoiding the risks of over a dozen legal investigations he may face in Brazil.

Legal probes have focused on his attacks against Brazil's voting system and alleged role in encouraging supporters to storm government buildings in Jan. 8 riots that recalled the 2021 assault on the U.S. Capitol.

Bolsonaro, who holds former U.S. President Donald Trump as his political idol, attended the Conservative Political Action Conference this month in Washington where he questioned the result of the October election narrowly won by Lula and said his mission in Brazil was 'still not over.'

The 68-year-old populist will head from the airport to the headquarters of the conservative Liberal Party (PL), which became the largest in Brazil's Congress riding Bolsonaro's coattails in the last election.

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