On Wednesday (07/09), in Brasilia, President Jair Bolsonaro took part in the 7 September parade to commemorate the Bicentennial of Brazil’s Independence. Later, he flew to Rio de Janeiro, where he took part in a celebration promoted by the Armed Forces in Copacabana, and then went to a political act in the same neighborhood.

Electoral Speech

When the parade was over, he spoke from the top of a truck at a demonstration organized by his supporters, on the other side of the Esplanada dos Ministérios. Alongside the first lady, Michelle Bolsonaro, General Braga Netto – vice in his ticket – and allied businessmen, Bolsonaro directly mentioned the election day, 2 October, and asked his supporters to vote and change the minds of those with different preferences.

Banners with Anti-Democratic Sayings

On the avenue next to the place where the parade took place, Bolsonaro supporters held a demonstration in favor of the government. Some of them carried banners with anti-democratic slogans, asking, for example, for military intervention and democratic rupture.

Criticisms and Lawsuit

On Wednesday (07/09), the three best-placed candidates in the electoral polls, along with Jair Bolsonaro, Lula, Ciro Gomes and Simone Tebet, criticized the president’s for using the celebrations of the 200 years of Independence to promote his reelection campaign.

On Thursday (08/09), the Democratic Labor Party (PDT), Brazil Union (UB) filed a lawsuit with the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) to investigate President Jair Bolsonaro for abuse of political and economic power in the acts of 7 September. The party also requires Bolsonaro to be ineligible. In the action, the party argues that Bolsonaro took advantage of the mandate and public structure to favor himself in the electoral dispute and unbalance the election. The Workers’ Party (PT) is also expected to file a similar lawsuit.

However, political commentators do not expect that this action will have any effects, since the reelection committee would have guided President Bolsonaro to separate the president persona from the candidate. He did not speak from the official platforms, but from sound cars hired by the campaign or supporters, who will declare it as a donation. And, in the moments when he spoke as a candidate, he had on his side only the advisers allowed by the electoral legislation.

Important Absences

The presidents of the Federal Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco; from the Chamber of Deputies, Arthur Lira; and the Federal Supreme Court (STF), Luiz Fux, were invited to the ceremony, but did not attend.

Later they made statements regarding the event. Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco said on Thursday (08) that he did not attend the parade because “it was not clear”, if civic and electoral acts in the Esplanade of Ministries would “mingle”. He added that one cannot “take advantage of” a civic celebration to do “politics”. Arthur Lira, on the other hand, recalled the 200th anniversary of the Independence of Brazil and stated that the 7 September 1822 “continues to echo in the actions and commitments of all”.

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