Brazil in turmoil, police reportedly join massive protests to block streets over ‘stolen’ election

Brazil is in turmoil following the results of a divisive runoff election Sunday, where leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva appeared to have defeated incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro by just 1.8 percent of the votes.

Fittingly,  President Joe Biden was among the first world leaders to congratulate da Silva, highlighting the country’s “free, fair, and credible elections.”

Bolsonaro, who some in the media have dubbed the “Tropical Trump” for alleged similarities to the former U.S. president, has yet to concede the election and the “brash far right” leader, as NBC News referred to the Brazilian president, and his supporters have alleged for months that the country’s electronic voting system is plagued by fraud.

“[A]s recently as last month, he remarked that if he didn’t win in the election’s first round, something was ‘abnormal’ — even as most polls showed him trailing,” the network reported.

In the streets, truckers and other Bolsonaro supporters are blocking highways for a second day, with Brazil’s Federal Highway Police reporting more than 250 total or partial blockages in at least 23 of Brazil’s 27 states, according to CBS News. There are also unconfirmed reports that police are joining in with the protestors:

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Protesters blocked roads outside Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos airport, the country’s main international hub, on Monday night, reportedly prompting the cancellation of some flights — it’s not clear if the roads remain blocked.

Video making  the rounds online shows a food distribution center in Rio de Janeiro being looted:

“The President’s delay in conceding Sunday’s race has contributed to fears that he will not cooperate with a transfer of power, amid scattered protests by his supporters,” CNN reported. “Ahead of the vote, Bolsonaro and some of his allies had made unfounded claims about electoral fraud and unfair treatment by the press.”

“Anywhere else in the world, the president who lost would have called me by now and conceded,” Lula da Silva told supporters on Sunday night, adding, “He still hasn’t called, I don’t know if he will and I don’t know if he will concede.”

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Some in the country insist the election was stolen.

“The Brazilian people aren’t going to swallow a faked election and hand our nation over to a thief,” said 50-year-old teacher Ruth da Silva Barbosa, according to CBS News.

Independent journalist Glenn Greenwald, who lives in Brazil, offered his analysis of events here:

Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk said in a series of tweets that Bolsonaro “just got California’d,” taking care to point out the importance of the electoral college as established by America’s founders, to avoid what took place in Brazil, offering his take on how the left was able to prevail in the election.

“The Electoral College is one of the mechanisms which spreads power out over geography. It protects the country from sectionalism, where a political movement that dominates in just one area can force its will onto the entire country,” he tweeted.

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