Saturday 24 April 2021 - 23:02

Brazil’s President Says Military Would Follow His Orders to Take Streets

Story Code : 929115
Brazil’s President Says Military Would Follow His Orders to Take Streets
Bolsonaro’s controversial suggestion came during a televised interview on Friday in which he said he would not "go into details into what I'm preparing", presstv reported.

"If we were to have problems, we have a plan of how to enter the field ... our armed forces could one day go into the streets," he said.

The latest remarks by the Brazilian president – a former right-wing army captain who has long admired his nation’s two-decade military dictatorship – have sparked fears among his local critics about his politicization of the military.

Others have expressed concerns about his commitment to a peaceful surrender of presidential power in the event of close results following next year's election.

Since his 2018 election victory, Bolsonaro has made groundless claims about voter fraud in Brazil, which critics insist could serve as a prelude to challenging next year’s presidential elections in the same vein as his political idol, former US President Donald Trump.

Bolsonaro expressed support last year for Trump's conspiracies of a stolen election which eventually culminated in the deadly January 6 attack on the US Congress in Washington by his far-right supporters.

The Friday development came amid growing pressure on the Brazilian president as the country’s COVID-19 outbreak has spiraled out of control. He has faced widespread condemnation for his handling of the pandemic across Brazil, which hold the world's second highest coronavirus death toll only after the United States.

This is while Bolsonaro appointed last month his former chief of staff to lead the Defense Ministry and switched all three commanders of the armed forces as part of a cabinet reshuffle that reportedly shocked senior military officers.

The replacement of the army, navy and air force chiefs came a day after Bolsonaro overhauled his cabinet, replacing the foreign, defense and justice ministers as well as his chief of staff, attorney general and government secretary.

The turmoil came as the government struggled to contain a deadly surge of COVID-19 in Brazil, which has already killed more than 386,000 people in the country — pushing many hospitals to the brink of collapse.

Bolsonaro, who faces re-election in October 2022, is currently challenged by a sliding popularity and growing pressure over his handling of the pandemic, including from key allies in Congress and the business world. His attacks on lockdowns, face masks and vaccines have become fodder for critics.