- choice of words
- BBC News World
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday called on truck drivers protesting Sunday’s election results to clear the roads and protest elsewhere.
Supporters of the far-right president have erected hundreds of barricades across Brazil since it was announced that Bolsonaro’s leftist rival Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva had won the election.
Bolsonaro said that blocking roads is notwith “legitimate” form of protest and encouraged people to choose other means of demonstration.
Many staunch Bolsonaro supporters refused to accept the result of Sunday’s presidential runoff, in which Lula narrowly won with 50.9% of the valid vote.
Angered by the results, truckers set up roadblocks across the country. Until now it lasted for three days and caused significant disruptions in the transport of goods, including food and fuel.
Authorities scrambled to remove all roadblocks and, according to the Federal Highway Police (PRF), more than 700 were dismantled.
Addressing the blockades in a video posted on his social media, Bolsonaro said: “I know they are upset… Me too. But we have to keep our heads up.”
“I want to make a call: clear the tracks,” he asked and added that Blocking roads “denies our right to come and go, which is in our Constitution”.
However, he encouraged the protesters to find other ways to protest and welcomed the various rallies held in their support, where Brazilian flags were displayed and anti-Lula slogans were shouted.
Some have also called for military intervention to keep Bolsonaro in power.
“This is very welcome and is part of democracy,” he said.
Although Bolsonaro has yet to publicly admit his defeat, he also did not question the election result in his speech on Tuesday.
He also agreed with the transition of power in his speech, which, according to the Brazilian Supreme Court, showed that he recognized the result of the election.
Bolsonaro’s presidential term will end when Lula takes over as his successor on January 1.
Lula, who previously served as president from 2003 to 2011, is now 77 and will become the oldest person to take office.
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