Today’s unrest comes a week after the inauguration of Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who defeated Jair Bol in the Oct. 10 runoff Jair Bolsonaro. Aged 30, returning to power after a 12-year hiatus.
The election comes amid a tense and polarized political climate in Brazil, which has struggled with high inflation, limited growth and growing poverty.
In the weeks after Bolsonaro’s defeat, thousands of his supporters gathered in military camps across the country, demanding that the military intervene as they claimed, without evidence, that the election had been stolen.
Claims of the former president: Bolsonaro claimed some voting machines malfunctioned in the runoff with Lula. He sent out a petition to cancel the ballots for the election.
The president of Brazil’s electoral court dismissed the petition, calling it “ridiculous and illegal” and “ostensibly a conspiracy against the democratic rule of law”.
In his ruling, Supreme Electoral Court Chief Justice Alexandre De Moraes said all electronic ballot models “can be perfectly identified in a clear, secure and complete manner”.
Bolsonaro’s government said it would cooperate with the transition, but the far-right leader did not explicitly concede defeat, leaving the country for the United States before Lula took office.
Bolsonaro supporters have camped in the capital since then. Justice Minister Flavio Dino on Saturday authorized the armed forces to barricade and guard the parliament building amid the continued presence of Bolsonaro supporters. But the Sunday crowd broke through those defenses.
Early violence: There has been other violence in Brazil since Bolsonaro refused to explicitly concede his electoral defeat.
A man was arrested in Brasilia after trying to enter Lula’s inauguration party with a knife and fireworks, the Federal District Police said in a statement.
Police also arrested a man at Brasilia International Airport on suspicion of planting and possessing an explosive device.
The suspect, identified as George Washington de Oliveira Souza, 54, a gas station manager who is a Bolsonaro supporter, told police in a statement seen by CNN that he intended to ” Create chaos” to prevent Lula from taking office.
Bolsonaro condemned Sosa’s attempted bombing, calling it an “act of terrorism” “without justification”.