Bolsonaro silent after defeat, no concession

STORY: Truckers blockaded highways in some 20 Brazilian states on Monday, as tires burned, in protest of Jair Bolsonaro’s runoff election defeat to former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Many truckers endorsed Bolsonaro, who as of Monday evening, was yet to concede the election… raising fears the far-right nationalist might contest the results.

Bolsonaro spent Monday at the presidential palace without appearing in public... and remaining silent.

But his communications minister said Bolsonaro was working to determine measures to clear the highways, and said the President would publicly address his defeat on Tuesday.

Prior to the vote he repeatedly made baseless claims the electoral system was open to fraud.

But tens of thousands of jubilant Lula supporters didn’t wait for official word from the president - they took to the streets of Sao Paulo on Sunday night to celebrate a stunning comeback for Lula, the 77-year-old former metalworker, who governed Brazil from 2003 to 2010.

His electoral win follows a spell in prison for corruption convictions that were later annulled.

In his victory speech on Sunday evening, Lula called on his rival to do the right thing.

"The defeated president (Bolsonaro) should have called me to recognize my victory. Up to now he hasn't called. I don't know if he will or if he will concede."

Lula has vowed to overturn many of Bolsonaro's policies, including pro-gun measures and weak protection of the Amazon rainforest.

Even before he is due to take office on Jan. 1, it was said President-elect Lula will send representatives to next month's COP27 United Nations climate summit in Egypt.

Bolsonaro, a far-right nationalist who has said he modeled his presidency after Donald Trump's, has echoed the former U.S. leader's baseless allegations of fraud in the 2020 U.S. election.

Having repeatedly questioned Brazil’s electronic voting machines, Bolsonaro has argued – without proof – that they are susceptible to manipulation.

International election observers said Sunday's election was conducted fairly and efficiently.

The Supreme Electoral Court declared Lula won 50.9% of votes, against 49.1% for Bolsonaro.

With that—Bolsonaro became the first Brazilian incumbent ever to lose a presidential election.