Brazil’s House and Senate suspended public visits this weekend ahead of a pro-Bolsonaro demonstration scheduled to begin the moment polls close on Sunday at 5 pm.
Usually, both houses of Congress are open to the public for unscheduled visitation every day from 9 am to 5 pm. However, Congress decided to suspend visits this weekend, the Brazilians hit the polls for the presidential runoff vote. The same measure was not carried out on October 2, when the first round took place.
According to the House’s official website, the measure was adopted “for security reasons,” following recommendations from the legislative police forces of both congressional chambers.
A Facebook search for political events scheduled for Brasilia this Sunday finds no significant results. However, Congresswoman Carla Zambelli, a hardcore supporter of Mr. Bolsonaro and São Paulo’s second best-voted lawmaker in 2022, announced a “victory party” demonstration would take place on the Esplanade of Ministries, where Congress is located.
The state government of Brasilia told The Brazilian Report it expects both pro-Bolsonaro and pro-Lula demonstrations to take place on Sunday, held about 3 kilometers apart from each other. Officials have yet to determine road blocks, but this could change.
(In São Paulo, authorities decided that only supporters of the winning presidential candidate will be allowed to demonstrate on the city’s traditional Paulista Avenue in a push to narrow the risk of violence.)
President Jair Bolsonaro and his allies have given multiple signals that they won’t accept electoral results if they don’t go their way. For years, Mr. Bolsonaro has sought to sow distrust in Brazil’s electronic voting system and is now seeking to spin a Brazilian version of Donald Trump’s ‘Big Lie.’
Mr. Bolsonaro presented a poorly documented complaint that certain radio stations aired fewer ads from his campaign, which he claims has curtailed his electoral chances.
Allies of the president used the complaint to suggest postponing the election. However, only Congress can change the constitutionally mandated date of the elections, so any suggestion to do so otherwise becomes coup-mongering.
One of the proponents of the unconstitutional measure is Congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro, the president’s third-eldest son and an outspoken fan of Brazil’s military dictatorship (1964-1985). On Thursday, Edward said that postponing the elections would be necessary to grant his father time to broadcast right of reply ads and rebalance the campaign.
One state lawmaker from Goiás, meanwhile, said a Lula win would plunge Brazil into a civil war.
The Supreme Court told The Brazilian Report it will adopt the same security measures on Sunday that it employed for the September 7 demonstrations — preventing demonstrators from reaching its building.