Military display rolls into Brazilian capital before key vote

Military Display Rolls Into Brazilian Capital Before Key Vote Military Display Rolls Into Brazilian Capital Before Key Vote
Brazil Military Convoy
Share this article

By Debora Alvares and Mauricio Savarese, Associated Press

Brazil’s military has staged an unusual convoy of troops and armoured vehicles through the capital — an event announced only a day before which coincided with a scheduled vote in Congress on one of President Jair Bolsonaro’s key proposals.

Scores of vehicles and hundreds of soldiers paraded past the presidential palace as Mr Bolsonaro looked on, then continued past the congressional building and Defence Ministry.

The navy issued a statement saying the convoy had been planned long before the congressional vote, but it was announced only on Monday and critics said it looked like an attempt to intimidate opponents of a president who has often praised the country’s past military dictatorship.

Jair Bolsonaro, centre, watches the convoy pass by (Eraldo Peres/AP)

Military parades in the capital are usually limited to independence day events.


Tuesday’s procession was described as a ceremonial invitation for Mr Bolsonaro to attend annual navy exercises in a town outside the capital. The army and air force are also participating for the first time.

Congress’s lower house had earlier scheduled a Tuesday vote on constitutional reform that Mr Bolsonaro has crusaded for: requiring printed receipts from some electronic ballot boxes that the president alleges are prone to fraud.

Critics allege that the president, who trails rivals in early opinion polls, is trying to sow doubt among his supporters about the 2022 election results, setting the stage for potential conflicts similar to those spawned by Donald Trump’s allegations of fraud in the US.

Military police detain two protesters blocking the convoy (Eraldo Peres/AP)

Mr Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo, a legislator, on Monday reinforced the family’s close association with Mr Trump by posting on social media what appeared to be a recent photo of himself standing alongside the former US leader and saying he (Eduardo) is “on the side of men with unblemished reputations and the moral authority to walk down the street, head held high”.

Electoral authorities have repeatedly denied any problems with the voting system and Jair Bolsonaro has failed to present proof despite a Supreme Court order to substantiate his allegations.


The president has repeatedly insulted Luis Roberto Barroso, a Supreme Court justice and the electoral court’s president, accusing him of working to benefit leftist former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has been leading in the polls.

An armoured vehicle drives past congressional buildings (Eraldo Peres/AP)

Tuesday’s measure is a watered-down version of an initial proposal to adopt printouts at all of the nation’s voting ballot boxes — a bill rejected last week by a congressional committee.

Electoral authorities and even many of Mr Bolsonaro’s political allies oppose the plan, saying it attacks a non-existent problem and would create opportunity for vote buying.

The call for a vote appeared to be a bid by lower house speaker Arthur Lira, a Bolsonaro ally, to settle the dispute for good and ease tensions.

On Monday, he called the military exercise taking place the same day as the vote a “tragic coincidence”.

Read More

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© 2022, developed by Square1 and powered by