Brazil: Bolsonaro knocks on the door of the barracks | The president would have sought military support to postpone the ballot on Sunday

From Brasília

What did they talk about Wednesday night Jair Bolsonaro and the military leadership during a meeting held in Brasilia?

So far there has been no official statement on what was discussed at that emergency meeting held in the final stretch towards the ballot election next Sunday. It is known that next to the president were the generals Paulo Sergio Nogueira de Oliveira y Marco Antonio Freire Gomes, Minister of Defense and Commander of the Army, respectively. At the same meeting were the chief of the Navy, Almir Garnier Santos and the head of the Air Force, Carlos Baptista Junior. That is to say the “military party”.

That same night the candidate for re-election who the polls show as the loser, by a narrow margin against Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, also spoke with ministers and civil advisers. Government sources confirmed to the agency Folhapress and to the channel GloboNews the holding of these conclaves and commented that the president would have proposed postponing the elections fulfilling a threat already outlined in speeches and interviews granted since at least July 2021.

Since his arrival at the Planalto Palace in January 2019, this exegete of the dictatorship it has tried a series of maneuvers to erode the institutional system from within. This included everything from questioning the electronic ballot boxes to sending a bill to the Legislature that punishes those responsible for polling companies with prison when their projections are wrong.

He had previously threatened to close Congress and incited his shock groups to invade the palace of the Federal Supreme Court, copying the capture of the Capitol encouraged by Donald Trumpof whom he is an emulator, in January 2021.

In parentheses: the deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro, a recent tour of Argentina, has been one of the agitators of a coup adventure to perpetuate his father in the Planalto. A US investigative commission analyzed the deputy’s record for his alleged complicity in the assault on Congress in Washington, the city where he was precisely in January 2021 when he visited the White House.

Luna’s reaction

The former president reacted with aplomb to the attacks of who will be his opponent in Sunday’s elections and whom he will face face to face during the long-awaited television debate this Friday at the TV Globo studios in Rio de Janeiro. “He (Bolsonaro) wants to create confusion because he is a bit psychologically unstructured (…) he knows he is going to lose”declared the petista this Thursday morning.

At night the pollster Datafolha reported that Lula has 54 percent of the valid votes, one percent more than last week, and Bolsonaro 46 percent, having fallen one point.


The proposal presented out of the blue by the president to postpone the elections apparently would not have had a foothold among the civilian members of the government. The representatives of the coalition of right-wing forces known as “Centrao”, which supports the Executive in Parliament, would not be in tune with this adventure that could be a mortgage on their long-term interests.

The “Centrao” will continue to be powerful whether Bolsonaro wins or Lula wins on Sunday. The politicians of the “Centrao” are more sensitive to the moods of society and of the factual powers, read market, companies and media, where discontent prevails, not in a homogeneous way, with the ruling regime.

On the other hand, little is known about how the “military party” received the proposal to defer the vote. The military corporation has been quite organic with the project of Bolsonarist power to which it has been functional. This was demonstrated in the civic-military parade on September 7, the Bicentennial of Independence, a commemoration conceived as part of the president’s campaign for re-election.

As part of this organization with the Planalto, the pressure of the Ministry of Defense on the Electoral Court to carry out an audit of the electronic ballot boxes can be considered. Defense managed to impose the biometric control in the first round of October 2, causing the vote to be delayed and a possibly high number of voters to desist from voting due to the long queues. That maneuver would have favored Bolsonaro, since most of the citizens who leave the ranks are usually humble people who are mostly voters of Lula.

The teacher Sergio Amadeufrom the ABC Federal University in Sao Paulo, told this newspaper that without this “interference” by the military, Lula, who won 48.4 percent of the vote in the first round, could have been closer to 50 percent, with which he would already be president-elect without the need for a ballot.

The researcher clarifies that this is a provisional hypothesis, whose confirmation will only come with the analysis of how each district voted and stopped voting on October 2. The truth is that more than 32 million voters deserted, most of them did not go to vote, out of a total of 156 million.


The pretext for postponing (until when?) the elections is ridiculous: It is based on an alleged manipulation that occurred in thousands of radio stations that broadcast less electoral advertising from the ruling Liberal Party than from the opposition Workers’ Party.

The complaint was filed with the Superior Electoral Court, which dismissed it for “lack of evidence” about this imaginary media plot.And not only that: the Court ordered an investigation of those responsible for the Liberal Party campaign on the suspicion that the accusation was nothing more than an excuse to cause riots in the final stretch towards the second electoral round.