Will Brazil’s military intervene?
Bolsonaro has been quite since the election… too quiet. No but honesty, he didn’t concede, and his supporters have been protesting for more than a month. Every day. Ten of millions of people. Asking the military to interfere. More than 170 officers wrote to military high command criticizing the election.
The Superior Electoral Court moved up certification of Lula’s contested victory by a week. Radical Right-wingers have claimed this is to pre-empt military action. If this is true, they have still given them 9 days… and given ammo to those who claim that the judges (many Workers’ Party appointees) are biased.
The protests were surprisingly large, support from the business community and establishment stronger than expected, just as Bolsonaro did better than the polls had claimed. A tough response from the USA is less likely with Biden having lost the house.
So, has Bolsonaro been plotting so far. Will the military intervene? Or parts of it at least? Will we see a coup? This will likely impact South American politics more broadly. It will be a return to the era of Far Left leaders and Right-wing military coups alternating in Latin America.
The current corrupt state of Latin America and Lula’s corruption (the biased nature of his trial under Moro notwithstanding) and the fact that Lula will be immune from being re-tried as president, make the possible coup scenario almost seem like a relief. It would be like Von Papen or Von Schleicher having actually established a military dictatorship in Weimar (rather than what we actually got instead).
Bolsonaro has been quite the erratic demagogue, but it’s frustrating to see corrupt democracies become more corrupt and oligarchic with populists from all sides being undercut and establishment politicians accused of links to China rising to power even as protests have so far failed to end of prevent totalitarianism in either mainland China or Hong Kong. Certain dictatorships (the most oppressive ones) seem invincible yet so do democracies that almost make dictatorship appealing.
My basic sentiment is, death to the status quo. Let’s have some successful (but not too bloody) game-changing revolutions that the corrupt on all sides will have to deal with. The mainstream media’s monopoly pre-emptively claiming elections will be fair (or not) needs to end. It’s not good for a democracy to say in advance that the elections can’t be falsified or stolen. That prejudices any challenges and verification afterwards. It’s an odd pre-emptive denial anyways.
Let’s just pray that Bolsonaro will actually follow constitutional dictatorship if he succeeds.