Bolsonaro refuses to concede defeat but intends to cooperate with transfer of power

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro broke his silence following his election loss on Sunday and pledged to continue to fulfill all the “commandments of our constitution” in a short speech at the presidential palace in Brazil. During his speech Mr Bolsonaro did not contest the result of the election despite previous comments indicating that he might.

However, the former army officer did choose to thank those who had voted for him and to hit out at critics.

He said: “I have always been labeled undemocratic and, unlike my accusers, I have always played within the four lines of the constitution.”

Mr Bolsonaro did not formally accept defeat to Mr Da Silvia who won with 50.9 percent of the vote, while Mr Bolsonaro gained 49.1 percent.

However, his comments indicated that he is willing to cooperate with the transfer of power.

Following Mr Bolsonari’s speech chief of staff Ciro Nogueira said he work work with Mr Da Silvia’s team to ensure a smooth transition.

He said: “President Jair Messias Bolsonaro authorized me, when it is time, based on the law, to start the transition process.”

Mr Bolsonaro’s initial silence had raised fears that he would refuse to cooperate with the transfer of power having previously made baseless claims about electoral fraud.

Speaking to CNN Brian Winter, the editor in chief of Americas Quarterly said that it would be seen as a sign of weakness if he formally conceded defeat.

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She said: “Bolsonarismo is a strong opposition force and got even stronger after this election despite Bolsonaro’s loss.”

Despite Mr Bolsonaro’s loss on Sunday his Liberal Party performed well in the legislative elections held last month winning 99 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 13 in the Federal Senate.

Although Mr Da Silvia’s Workers Party standing as part of a coalition with the Greens and Communists also gained seats but both chambers will be dominated by Conservative lawmakers supportive of Bolsonaro.

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