Thousands of supporters of former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro stormed Congress, the Supreme Court and the presidential palace on Sunday, demanding a military intervention to overthrow President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was sworn into office one week ago.
The assault in Brasília recalls the assault on the US Capitol two years ago, when Donald Trump supporters stormed the building in an effort to stop lawmakers certifying the presidential election results. In this case, however, Brazil’s Congress was not in session.
Fears of such an assault had been building since the presidential election, which Bolsonaro lost by a narrow margin. Ahead of the vote, the far-right leader raised doubts about the country’s electronic voting system and electoral authorities, paving the way for his supporters false claims of voter fraud. Bolsonaro also encouraged protests against the results of the election. In his farewell speech, however, he did condemn the failed bomb attack in Brasília, which was orchestrated by one of his supporters in the hopes of disrupting the new president’s inauguration.
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