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Wednesday May 22, 2024

Brazil’s Bolsonaro gathers supporters in show of strength amid coup probe

A spokesperson for Bolsonaro’s family said he was hoping up to 700,000 people would show up in support of the former president

By Reuters
February 26, 2024
Supporters of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro take part in a protest to ask for federal intervention outside the Army headquarters in Brasilia, on November 2, 2022. — AFP
Supporters of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro take part in a protest to ask for federal intervention outside the Army headquarters in Brasilia, on November 2, 2022. — AFP

BRASILIA: Supporters of Jair Bolsonaro gathered on Sunday on Sao Paulo’s iconic Paulista Avenue to show support for the former far-right Brazilian president as he finds himself embroiled in several investigations that many believe could land him in jail.

Bolsonaro called the rally, which he dubbed a “peaceful gathering in favour of the rule of law and our freedom, families and future,” after being targeted by a police raid earlier this month as part of a probe into an alleged coup attempt.He had his passport confiscated and was accused of editing a draft decree to overturn election results, pressuring military chiefs to join a coup attempt and plotting to jail a Supreme Court justice after his electoral loss to leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in 2022.Supporters of Bolsonaro, a populist often likened to former US president Donald Trump, invaded and ransacked Brazil’s presidential palace, Supreme Court and Congress calling for a military coup on Jan 8, 2023, a week after Lula took office.

Allies expect Sunday’s demonstration to show that Bolsonaro, who is barred from running for office until 2030 for spreading election falsehoods and faces several other criminal probes, still holds political strength in deeply polarized Brazil.

Fabio Wajngarten, a spokesperson for Bolsonaro’s family, said he was hoping up to 700,000 people would show up in support of the former president, including dozens of lawmakers and three state governors.