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Bolsonaro claims he will not lead opposition as he returns to Brazil for first time since riots

Brasilia, Brazil CNN  — 

Brazil’s former president Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday claimed he would not lead the nation’s opposition as he boarded a flight residence for the primary time since his election defeat that culminated in 1000’s of his supporters rioting in protest on the end result.

Bolsonaro, who denies inciting violent assaults within the capital Brasilia on January 8, faces an investigation into his alleged involvement upon his return, amongst different authorized troubles. In the meantime, Brazilian authorities mentioned safety could be stepped up and have urged his supporters to not greet the previous chief on the airport in Brasilia on Thursday morning.

Talking to CNN affiliate CNN Brasil at Florida’s Orlando airport late Wednesday, Bolsonaro mentioned he wouldn’t lead the opposition to Brazilian President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva on his return – regardless of rallying assist from conservative activists and far-right teams throughout his three-month keep in america.

“You don’t must oppose this authorities. This authorities is an opposition in itself,” Bolsonaro advised CNN Brasil.

As an alternative, Bolsonaro mentioned he deliberate to assist his center-right Liberal Get together “as an skilled individual,” collaborating with “no matter they want,” CNN Brasil quoted the previous president as saying. He added that he’ll tour the nation in preparation for subsequent 12 months’s municipal elections.

Bolsonaro’s return comes as political divisions run deep in Brazil after he left the nation in December final 12 months simply days earlier than Lula’s inauguration.

Although he denounced the invasion of Brasilia by his supporters, within the days following the election he welcomed peaceable demonstrations whereas his occasion filed petitions for an audit of voting machines, alleging fraud. He fed his followers crumbs of misinformation about election fraud and made obscure feedback hinting at a possible coup.

The assaults in Brasilia bore similarities to the January 6, 2021 revolt on the US Capitol in Washington, DC, when supporters of ex-US President Donald Trump – an in depth ally of Bolsonaro – stormed Congress in an effort to forestall the certification of his election defeat.

Brazil’s Supreme Court docket is investigating Bolsonaro’s alleged involvement within the Brasilia riots, significantly to seek out out who or how far-right mobs that assist the ex-leader ended up ransacking the seats of presidency.

Bolsonaro can be beneath scrutiny over jewellery he allegedly obtained as a present from the Saudi Arabian authorities whereas in workplace. On Wednesday, he denied any “irregularities,” stating that “the objects have been registered,” CNN Brasil reported.

Brazilian federal prosecutors are additionally investigating whether or not Bolsonaro tried to smuggle two units of diamond jewels into the nation with out paying import taxes.

Excessive-security return

The polarizing politician is planning to greet his supporters upon arrival within the capital and is ready to attend a reception hosted by his occasion earlier than going to his residence, CNN Brasil reported.

Brasilia’s public security chief Sandro Avelar urged Bolsonaro’s supporters to not disrupt the capital’s airport, the place 40,000 passengers fly by way of day by day.

“We urge you to respect this resolution that was already taken, for the properly being of the previous president’s supporters and his personal,” mentioned Avelar in a joint press convention with heads of Brazil’s safety forces on Wednesday.

Bolsonaro will use a separate entrance on the airport and might be escorted by federal police brokers. Avelar mentioned safety forces might be prepared to shut down the airport – and entry to the federal government district, if wanted.

A joint activity drive of navy police, freeway patrol and different safety forces is working to safe the previous president’s arrival with minimal influence on the inhabitants and disruptions in visitors and flights, he added.

In accordance with federal police superintendent Cézar Luís Busto, Bolsonaro’s advisers have been in contact with authorities and are conscious of the plan. Busto mentioned he noticed no purpose for concern presently.

The US Embassy in Brasilia issued a national “safety alert” to its residents in Brazil on Wednesday, warning of reviews that pro-Bolsonaro supporters might be within the neighborhood of the Brasilia Worldwide Airport.

In an announcement the embassy mentioned, “Brazilian authorities advise that entry to airport might be restricted and will probably trigger disruptions and delays. Please plan accordingly to account for these occasions.”

CNN’s Julia Jones contributed reporting.

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