Thousands of supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro demonstrated this Friday in Brasilia in favor of making the carrying and possession of weapons more flexible in Brazil, one of the main flags of the far-right president.
Summoned by the Proarmas movement with the slogan “It’s not about weapons, it’s about freedom,” the protesters gathered in front of the Cathedral of Brasilia and marched through the Esplanade of the Ministries.
Dressed in white, the participants in the event, many without masks defying the coronavirus pandemic, as the president himself usually does, demanded the right to defend themselves. And they called for “the cessation of cultural persecution” against gun fans, such as hunters, sports shooters and collectors.
“Today all bandits have access to weapons and good citizens do not, honest people do not have access to weapons, that is why it is very important that we rescue that freedom,” Marcelo Duarte, 46, explained to AFP that attended the march with his son.
“I am here for freedom, for the right to defend my family, for freedom of expression and for the safety of all of us,” said Viviane Duarte, 44.
The possession and bearing of arms are Bolsonaro’s flags, a former army captain who came to power in January 2019 advocating self-defense and strong hand against crime in one of the most violent countries in the world.
In his more than two years in power, Bolsonaro signed more than 30 normative acts so that Brazilians can acquire or carry weapons more easily, but many of them were blocked by the Legislative or Judicial Power.
The protesters also denounced the “interference” of the Legislative and Judicial powers in favor of the printed vote, a frequent demand of the president, who distrusts the electronic voting system and warns of the possibility of fraud in the 2022 presidential elections.
Popularity for the floor
The president has been mobilizing his most extremist base for months at a time when his popularity is at the lowest point.
A Datafolha survey released between Thursday and Friday reveals that Bolsonaro’s disapproval rate surpassed 50% for the first time and confirms that he would be widely defeated in the 2022 elections by former left-wing president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
According to the poll, Lula would win in the second round, with 58% of the votes, compared to the 31% that Bolsonaro would obtain, who in turn would also lose to other candidates, including Labor Ciro Gomes and the governor of San Pablo , Joao Doria, center-right, former ally and now a rival of the president.
These bad data are a consequence of his management of the coronavirus pandemic, which has already left more than 530,000 dead in Brazil.
A Senate commission is investigating his alleged omissions when facing the coronavirus, as well as possible irregularities in the negotiation of anticovid vaccines by his government.
Suspend the elections?
In free fall in the polls, the president once again questioned the country’s electoral system on Friday, and reiterated, without evidence or indications, that for the presidential elections in October 2022, a “fraud” is in preparation.
“It seems that we already know who will win in 2022,” Bolsonaro said ironically to a small group of followers and added: Are we going to hand over (power)? “
This week, the leader of the Brazilian extreme right had already said that, if next year’s elections are held with the electronic ballot box system that the country adopted two decades ago, and in which it does not trust, could get to “ignore” the result.
“If the elections are honest thanks to technology, why does the world not adopt them,” he raised to sow more doubts in the electronic ballot boxes, considered absolutely reliable, to the point that there have been almost no complaints of irregularities in elections since they began to be used.
Distrust in electronic voting
The Bolsonaro government presented a bill to Congress with the intention of alter the suffrage system and return to ballot voting, which in the opinion of the president is “more secure” and “auditable”.
However, eleven parties from their own conservative base have already advanced their opposition to that project, also rejected by the magistrate Luis Barroso, president of the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE).
According to Bolsonaro, “the fraud is in the TSE” and Judge Barroso, who is also a member of the Supreme Court, “is an idiot.”
In the same framework, he declared again that, if the electronic voting system is maintained, “we run the risk of not having elections next year”, although later he clarified that, if there are “clean” elections, he will hand over the position. whoever wins.
Source: AFP and EFE