Former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro plans to return to Brazil in March. He says this to The Wall Street Journal in his first interview since his departure to the US state of Florida at the end of last year.
Bolsonaro says he will go back to lead the opposition to left-wing president Lula. He sees himself as the leader of the right-wing movement in Brazil, he says in the newspaper. “At the moment there is no one else.”
He also wants to defend himself in his home country against accusations that he has incited the storming of government buildings. Bolsonaro supporters stormed the parliament building and the presidential palace in the capital Brasilia on January 8.
The former president denies any involvement in the attack. “I wasn’t even there and yet they want to blame it on me,” he is quoted as saying.
Bolsonaro’s opponents are also calling for him to be prosecuted for his actions in the corona pandemic. As president, Bolsonaro called the coronavirus “a little flu” and he refused to take any large-scale measures. In Brazil, according to the government, about 700,000 people died from the effects of the virus.
Bolsonaro lost last year’s presidential election to leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. He never acknowledged defeat. He now tells The Wall Street Journal that losing is part of the democratic process. The former president does not want to speak of fraud, but insists that the elections were not fair.
Bolsonaro says he has not yet made a decision about a possible new run for the presidency. He calls the job “much tougher than he imagined”. Despite the chance that he will be arrested, the Brazilian former president says he is looking forward to his return.
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