Bolsonaro will return to Brazil next week, his party says

Brasilia, Mar 24 (EFE).- Former President Jair Bolsonaro plans to return to Brazil next week after spending three months in the United States, the chairman of his party said Friday.

“Bolsonaro will return to Brazil on March 30. He will disembark in Brasilia at 7:30 am,” Valdemar Costa said on the official Twitter account of the right-wing Liberal Party (PL).

Sen. Ciro Nogueira, who served as presidential chief of staff during the retired army captain’s 2019-2023 administration, confirmed the news.

“I spoke today with our captain and I assured him that I will be one of the first Brazilians who will be at the airport awaiting his return,” Nogueira said on social media.

Bolsonaro, who has yet to acknowledge his defeat by former two-term President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, in the October 2022 election, left Brasilia for Orlando, Florida, on Dec. 30, two days before his successor’s inauguration.

In an interview Thursday with the Record radio network, Bolsonaro said that it was “almost certain” he would return to Brazil next Thursday.

He told the network that he plans to “travel across Brazil and do politics” in alliance with the PL, under whose banner he sought a second term.

“We can keep up that banner of conservatism that we raised for four years,” he said.

But once back in Brazil, the erstwhile head of state will also have to contend with multiple legal probes, including one into whether he incited thousands of his supporters to vandalize Congress, the Supreme Court, and the presidential palace on Jan. 8 in what Lula’s government describes as an attempted coup.

Another investigation centers on a donation of precious jewels given to Bolsonaro by Saudi Arabia that he retained illegally, though his attorneys turned over the donation to authorities on Friday

Prosecutors are also looking into allegations of corruption in his administration’s acquisition of Covid-19 vaccine, while cases before the Supreme Electoral Court could see Bolsonaro barred from running from office again.

Ahead of last year’s elections, Bolsonaro, an outspoken admirer of Brazil’s 1964-1985 military regime, cast doubt on the reliability of the electronic voting system the country has used for decades without problems. EFE cms/dr

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