Brazil military services parade at presidential palace rattles politicians

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s armed forces place on an unconventional screen of armed forces hardware for far-proper President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday, in advance of a likely setback in Congress for his strategies to change the country’s voting procedure.

Politicians of all stripes identified as the parade of navy tanks, armored staff carriers and amphibious motor vehicles a form of intimidation hours just before lawmakers are predicted to vote from a constitutional modification backed by Bolsonaro.

The navy reported the parade was prepared very long in advance of the vote in the reduced dwelling of Congress was scheduled and it was intended to invite the president to an once-a-year military services work out on Sunday.

The presidential media business did not answer to a request for comment on the parade.

With his acceptance flagging amid the world’s next-deadliest COVID-19 outbreak, Bolsonaro has insisted in modern months on adopting paper ballots for the 2022 election, centered on unproven claims of fraud in Brazil’s digital voting technique.

He has threatened not to accept the final results of following year’s presidential election, which polls show him dropping to former leftist president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Neither of them have formally announced their candidacies.

Flanked by the commanders of the armed forces, Bolsonaro stood outside the Planalto presidential palace as the military parade passed by. A Navy officer in fight gear walked up the ramp to hand him the invitation.

The sight of tanks by the presidential palace unsettled Brazilians who lived under the 1964-1985 navy dictatorship.

Lawmaker Arthur Lira, speaker of the decrease chamber of Congress, known as the army parade forward of a key vote a “tragic coincidence” and did not accept an invitation to attend the armed forces’ workout.

Other lawmakers explained the unconventional armed service presence in front of the presidential palace was meant to intimidate them.

“Tanks in the avenue, exactly on the day of the vote on the paper ballot amendment, is authentic, apparent and unconstitutional intimidation,” Senator Simone Tebet of the centrist Brazilian Democratic Motion occasion mentioned on social media.

“Bolsonaro has turned a armed forces teaching exercise into a political spectacle,” mentioned leftist Congresswoman Perpetua Almeida, contacting it a show of pressure in reaction to his dropping poll quantities. “This shot will backfire,” she tweeted.

Reporting by Anthony Boadle Enhancing by Brad Haynes and Angus MacSwan