Brasilia | Zaire Bolsonaro attended an unprecedented military parade in Brasilia on Tuesday, trying to coerce and intimidate the president, who has been the subject of numerous trials and tribulations, analysts say.
The far-right president attended the parade in the midst of a deep crisis, with the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of Elections (TSE) launching an investigation into him after repeated attacks on the electoral system.
Along with Army, Air Force and Navy chiefs and defense ministers, Zaire Bolsonaro followed a parade of tanks and armored vehicles in front of the Planalto Palace, the presidency seat.
Officially, it is intended to extend an invitation to the head of state for an annual military exercise taking place 80 km from 1988 in Formosa, the capital of the state of Goyas.
Analysts point out that this is the first time since the return of democracy in Brazil in 1985 that a parade of armored vehicles and other military vehicles has taken place in front of the three powers’ headquarters in the capital.
He described the move as an attempt to bolster the Army’s popularity at a time when its popularity was declining and he needed to do research specifically to “spread false information” around the electoral system.
For Mauricio Santoro, a professor of political science at Rio State University (UERJ), Bolsonaro “uses this parade of armored vehicles to intimidate the Supreme Court and Parliament.”
He told the AFP he wanted the “armed forces to be on his side and support his most controversial demands, such as a return to paper voting.”
The participation of the armed forces in Bolsonaro’s “political maneuvers” was unprecedented, he said, adding that “since the end of the dictatorship, no one has ever used them in this way.”
During the march, which lasted about ten minutes, a small number of his supporters gathered in front of the presidency, with some signaling military intervention to “defend Brazil.”
“Bolsonaro ruled very well and the army is part of his government,” retired Marissa Soros Gill told AFP. “I have no fear or apprehension. On the contrary I support the armed forces, they protect us from the enemy forces”.
“The Vulnerability of the President”
The parade, however, comes at a time when MPs need to consider a constitutional amendment proposal to change the electoral system, which could have led to Bolsonaro’s defeat and his loss in the first round in 2018.
Bolsonaro, like the Navy, denied any connection between the next parade and the talks.
Bolsonaro, who is particularly notorious for managing the coronavirus epidemic, wants to stand for re-election in 2022, but Poles has promised a deadly defeat to his sworn enemy, former left-wing president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
The head of state has counterattacked in recent weeks by rising allegations of election fraud with the current electronic voting system. He attacked Supreme Court and TSE judges.
The electronic vote, which has been in force in Brazil since 1996, needs to be printed on ballot paper to allow recounting of ballots in the event of a dispute, without question.
It is on this topic that he has rallied thousands of exhibitors on the streets of major Brazilian cities in recent weekends. When threatening to work “outside the constitution”.
The Bolsonaro government is on the grill of the Senatorial Commission of Inquiry (ICC) for the management of the tragic coronavirus epidemic (564,000 deaths) and is suspected of corruption.
The head of the ICC, Senator Omar Aziz, saw the “pathetic scene” in Tuesday’s parade, which “highlights the president’s vulnerability surrounded by anti-corruption investigations.”