Concerns are growing in Brazil amid President Jair Bolsonaro’s silence on his election loss following months of claims that the race would be rigged, The New York Times reports.
Former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva narrowly defeated the right-winger president by a single percentage point over the weekend but Bolsonaro has yet to concede the race — or say anything publicly.
Bolsonaro was holed up in meetings at his presidential offices on Monday with senior advisers and Brazil’s minister of defense.
At least some of the advisers urged the president to concede but it is unclear whether he has made a decision.
Bolsonaro reportedly plans to address the public on Tuesday though it is unclear what he might say.
Observers are concerned after Bolsonaro claimed for months that the country’s voting system is rife with fraud and that the left planned to rig the election.
Polls have shown that millions of his followers bought the baseless claims and are prepared to take to the streets if he challenges the outcome.
Some supporters have already set up at least 236 road blockades across 20 states in Brazil but there have not been any widespread demonstrations protesting his defeat.
Some allies accept defeat:
Some of Bolsonaro’s allies in his government and in the congress have accepted Lula’s victory, albeit begrudgingly, the Times reported.
Brazilian House Speaker Arthur Lila, a Bolsonaro ally, announced Monday that he would not back any efforts to challenge the outcome.
“The will of the majority expressed at the polls should never be challenged,” he said, “and we will move forward in building a sovereign, just country with less inequality.”