Thousands of Brazilians Rally in Support of Bolsonaro Amid Coup Probe

Thousands of Brazilians have rallied in support of former President Jair Bolsonaro amid a probe into allegations that he tried to orchestrate a coup following his election loss in 2022.

Bolsonaro, who called the rally in Sao Paulo after being targeted by a police raid earlier this month, denied the coup charges on Sunday and hit out an election ban that has seen him barred from seeking office for eight years.

“What is a coup? Tanks in the streets, weapons, conspiracy. None of that happened in Brazil,” Bolsonaro told his supporters, who filled up six blocks of Sao Paulo’s iconic Paulista Avenue.

“We cannot accept that an authority can eliminate whoever it may be from the political scene, unless it is for a fair reason,” he said.

Federal police in Brazil seized the former president’s passport earlier this month after accusing him of editing a draft decree to overturn election results following his electoral loss to leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in 2022.

They also say he pressured military chiefs to join a coup attempt and plotted to jail a Supreme Court justice.

The former army officer is also facing several other investigations, such as the falsification of COVID-19 vaccination certificates, and the alleged misappropriation of gifts received from other nations, such as jewellery offered by Saudi Arabia.

Separately, hundreds of Bolsonaro’s supporters were also arrested and face charges for invading and ransacking Brazil’s presidential palace, Supreme Court and Congress on January 8, 2023, a week after Lula took office.

Bolsonaro said on Sunday that he was being “persecuted” and that his draft decree was based on the constitution.

He also called for amnesty for people who took part in the January 8 riot.

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Comfort Samuel

I work with TV360 Nigeria, as a broadcast journalist, producer and reporter. I'm so passionate on what I do.

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