Brazil’s Bolsonaro signals cooperation with transfer of power, but does not concede election defeat
Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro has signaled his intention to move quickly to transfer power to his vice-president, in a bid to force the opposition-controlled Congress into backing his re-election.
After a phone conversation with President Trump – during a short visit to Washington DC for a meeting of G20 nations – Bolsonaro wrote to Congress saying he wants a new vote on his reform programme and that he will call Congress to account for “all the facts” before making a decision on the election, according to a transcript provided by his office.
“This is a difficult moment and we will make it easier,” he said. “If there’s a vote, it’s a vote for the future and not for the present. I look forward to the day when we are in charge and that we have a government that respects and adheres to all of congress’ decisions.”
Bolsonaro’s position is that of a pragmatist who recognises the need to reform the country’s political processes and who wants to avoid a repeat of the impeachment process launched by Congress against him last year.
He has made clear he is ready to work with the US but is not yet willing to concede defeat.
“Our country is no more, let’s not waste words,” he said in a televised address to Congress. “We’re working to solve the country’s problems in a democratic way and we will solve them.”
His call for a new vote, after weeks in which Congress delayed any vote on the reform programme, came as the country’s top leaders met in Washington with Donald Trump and other world leaders to discuss the political climate.
Trump called the impeachment process “a sham�