Supporters of Brazil’s right-wing leader, former President Jair Bolsonaro, could not digest the change of power in the country. As a result, just one week after veteran leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was sworn in as the forty-ninth president, violent protests erupted in the streets of the nation’s capital, Brasilia. Protesters barged into Parliament, the Supreme Court, and the Rashtrapati Bhavan and caused massive vandalism, triggering a state of emergency, and security personnel had to use force to bring the situation under control. More than three hundred protesters were arrested. The incident was reminiscent of the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol on Capitol Hill two years ago. After America, we can take this incident in Brazil as a way to weaken democracy. How political powers are now challenging the world’s anti-authoritarian mandate by embracing pluralist principles.
After this shocking incident, Brazilian President Lula said that this act is against democracy. He sternly warned the protestors that those who created such a situation would be found and punished. It is also being reported that Supreme Court Judge Alexander de Moraes has held the Governor of Brasilia, Ibanez Rocha, responsible for the security lapses. Maybe some action is being taken against them too. Expressing deep concern over the incident, our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also extended his full support to the Lula administration. On the other hand, while condemning the riots in Brazil, the presidents of many countries including US President Joe Biden have said that it is an insult and an attack on democracy. The former president of Brazil, Bolsonaro, who currently resides in the US state of Florida, has condemned these developments. Leftist leader Lula, who is taking over the power of the country for the third time, is not going to have an easy path this time. Just a week after taking the oath, they faced the challenge of dealing with this incident. If the situation is not brought under control in time, the situation can become more explosive. Bolsonaro supporters have alleged behind the incident that the election results were rigged to remove the former president from power. In such a situation, Lula should be removed from the presidency and re-elections should be held in the country. Let the military help with this. During the elections held in October last year, Bolsonaro expressed doubts about the results.
After the election results, his Liberal Party challenged the results by filing a petition in the Election Division Court. Which was later rejected. It is also worth noting that Bolsonaro was absent from Lula’s swearing-in ceremony. This time, in a two-phase presidential election, Lula won by a narrow margin over Bolsonaro. Many violent incidents also took place in the country during the election campaign. Lula faces not only the challenge related to the latest incident, but the challenge of getting the country’s battered economy back on track in the time of Corona, curbing rising unemployment, inflation, and hunger, and comprehensively reforming the crumbling medical system. It is necessary to mention here that seven lakh people lost their lives in the country due to Corona epidemic.
Lula’s path to a third term as president is no easier than his previous two terms. The challenge will also be to correct some of the policy decisions taken during the previous Bolsonaro government and put the country on the path of holistic and equitable development. During his last two regimes from 2003 to 2011, his popularity increased due to the style of work he adopted. Even at that time, there was an adverse situation in the country. But they adopted market-friendly policies with a mixed economy approach including social spending. As a result, about 25 million people were lifted out of the poverty line. Thus the economic development of the country was ensured. Lula now has to take people from all walks of life with him to deal with the country’s current situation and problems. They should not forget that they have the support of liberals, the working class, and progressives who are upset with the previous regime. He also succeeded in uniting the opposition. Addressing the nation after being sworn in, he had said that his administration would focus more on the unity and reconstruction of the country.
Vikas Parashram Meshram is a journalist