In less than a year’s time Brazilians are due to go to the polls to elect their next President. Opinion polls show former President Lula De Silva, the country’s first working class president who left office a decade ago with an 83% approval rating, is the clear favourite to win the October 2022 race.
We, the undersigned, believe that this election must go ahead and that the will of the Brazilian people be respected.
So, we are deeply concerned by current far-right President Jair Bolsonaro’s recent comments suggesting he will not accept the results of the election should he lose and his repeated threats to Brazil’s democratic institutions.
Bolsonaro’s approval ratings have sunk to record lows amid one of the world’s worst Coronavirus death tolls, with Bolsonaro having consistently dismissed Covid as “just a fantasy”, and as a result of corruption allegations.
Any threats to democracy in Brazil must be treated with the utmost seriousness – and not solely because Bolsonaro is an open supporter of Brazil‘s past murderous military dictatorship. When Lula was set to win the 2018 presidential election, he was jailed on trumped up charges that prevented him from standing. While Dilma Rousseff, his Worker’s Party predecessor and Brazil’s first female president, was also removed from office in 2016 by undemocratic means.
We stand with all the social movements, trade unions, environmental activists, indigenous, LGBT+ other groups targeted under Bolsonaro’s presidency. Their fight is our fight.
We call for vigilance over the coming year against any attempts to undermine Brazilian democracy and prevent free and fair elections.
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