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Bolsonaro supporters, protesters turn out for Brazil’s Independence Day

CA, 08 Sep 2021
Supporters and critics of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro gathered on the streets of Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday during the country's Independence Day.

Supporters of the far-right President, dressed in the green and yellow of the Brazilian flag, marched near Copacabana Beach in a show of support for his attacks on the country's Supreme Court.

Bolsonaro's detractors also took to the streets of Rio to voice their concerns regarding issues such as the handling of the pandemic and low vaccination rates.

Bolsonaro has urged his supporters to turn out in record numbers, hoping for an overwhelming display to offset his slipping support in opinion polls and setbacks in his clash with the judiciary.

The top court has authorized investigations of Bolsonaro and his allies, based on alleged attacks against Brazil's democratic institutions. Bolsonaro has derided the Supreme Court investigations of his allies as violations of political freedoms. The court probes prompted police to question an ex-adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump in Brasilia on Tuesday.

Congress and the courts also resisted Bolsonaro's attempt to introduce paper voting receipts as a backup to an electronic voting system which he says is vulnerable to fraud. The electoral court maintains the system is transparent and safe.

Bolsonaro's critics say he is sowing doubts so he can challenge the results of next year's election, which opinion polls now show him losing dramatically to former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Neither has confirmed his candidacy.

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