Bolsonaro Tells Supporters to 'Clear the Highways' Amid Ongoing Protests

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday, November 2, asked supporters protesting the outcome of Brazil’s presidential election run-off to clear highways, urging them to respect people’s right to freedom of movement.

After Bolsonaro lost Sunday’s election to Lula da Silva, supporters of the outgoing president blocked major highways across Brazil causing massive delays, including for the delivery of oxygen to hospitals.

“The protests, the demonstrations are welcome, they are part of the democratic game,” he said, adding that “closing highways throughout Brazil harms people’s right to come and go” and was unconstitutional. “Clear the highways. This is not part of legitimate demonstrations.”

Freedom of movement is a constitutionally-protected right in Brazil. On Monday, a Supreme Court justice ordered the state’s military police to clear blockades, but protesters persisted.

Bolsonaro delivered remarks on Tuesday acknowledging the election after remaining silent for two days. The president did not directly acknowledge he lost the election or mention his successor, but said he would “continue to fulfil all the commandments of our Constitution.”

Later on Tuesday, the Supreme Federal Court released a statement on Tuesday evening saying Bolsonaro had met with members of the court and officially recognised the outcome of Sunday’s election, marking the beginning of the transfer of power. Credit: President Jair Bolsonaro via Storyful

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