The New Year has seen the inauguration of Jair Bolsonaro as the new president of Brazil. The right wing nationalist won the election in October 2018. Addressing thousands of supporters during his inauguration, he vowed to tackle crime, corruption and economic mismanagement.
After receiving his presidential sash, Bolsonaro told supporters outside the presidential palace that his election signifies his country freedom from socialism. The message was a clear reference to more than 13 years of left-wing rule that began in 2003.
Supporters greeted Bolsonaro, chanting “Myth! Myth! Myth!” and “the captain has arrived.”
After taking the presidential oath, Bolsonaro told Congress, “I summon every legislator to the mission of rebuilding our nation, freeing it of the yoke of corruption, crime, economic irresponsibility, and ideological submission”.
He also said “My vow is to strengthen Brazil’s democracy.”
Following his inauguration, U.S. President Donald Trump congratulated Bolsonaro in a tweet “Congratulations to President @JairBolsonaro who just made a great inauguration speech – the U.S.A. is with you!”
Mr. Bolsonaro responded to the U.S President: “I truly appreciate your words of encouragement. Together, under God’s protection, we shall bring prosperity and progress to our people.”
The controversial candidate who was known for his discriminatory tirades against LGBT community, black people, and women managed to become the frontrunner throughout the election campaign.
Bolsonaro’s victory rode the wave of nationalism that’s sweeping the nation ans which has left Brazil divided.
Many of his critics fear that his new government will veer towards autocratic rule. Seven of Bolsonaro’s 22 Cabinet ministers are former military personnel, more than in any administration during Brazil’s 1964-1985 dictatorship.
Bolsonaro declared that he will prioritize the fight against crime in a nation that has long led the world in annual homicides.
The President’s position on police violence has stirred human rights groups who believe that the new president could shield officers from investigations of misconduct and escalate extrajudicial killings.
Internationally, Bolsonaro, an admirer of President Trump, intends to move Brazil away from developing nation allies and closer to the policies of Western leaders, particularly the U.S government.