Brazil post-election transition begins

Brasilia, Nov 3 (EFE).- Following Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s victory last weekend in Brazil’s presidential runoff and three days of protests demanding a military intervention to keep outgoing rightist head of state Jair Bolsonaro in power, the teams of the two rivals on Thursday began the formal process of transferring power.

“The transition has started,” said Vice President-elect Geraldo Alckmin, who has been tasked with coordinating the transition process with Bolsonaro’s administration.

Alckmin is now in Brasilia, where he held an initial meeting Thursday at the Planalto presidential palace with chief of staff Ciro Nogueira, the head of Bolsonaro’s transition team.

The vice president-elect described the first meeting as productive and “very objective,” saying the transition work will begin in earnest on Monday.

The process will unfold with the goals of “transparency, planning and continuity of the services provided to the population,” he said.

Alckmin was accompanied by the chairman of Lula’s leftist Workers’ Party (PT), Gleisi Hoffman, and the coordinator of the president-elect’s government program, Aloizio Mercadante.

On Friday, they will visit the facility set aside as the operations center for the information-sharing process.

Brazilian law affords the president-elect the right to form a 50-member transition team that will access public administration information and prepare the incoming government’s first measures.

Bolsonaro authorized the transition process after breaking 45 hours of silence on Tuesday with a speech in which he pledged to comply with his constitutional duty.

In those remarks, he made no mention of Lula – a leftist icon who governed Brazil from 2003 to 2010 – or his narrow defeat at the polls on Sunday.

Transition talks have begun after three days of protests by far-right Bolsonaro supporters, including roadblocks by truckers and mass rallies outside army bases.

In both cases, the demonstrators called for a military intervention to prevent “communism” from being installed in Brazil.

Although Lula is a hero of the left in Latin America and is beloved by many working-class Brazilians who credit him with lifting them out of poverty, he is widely seen as having governed as a center-left moderate between 2003 and 2010.

The former firebrand union leader presided over a strong economy buoyed by a commodities boom and left office with a sky-high approval rating.

In his bid for a third term, he chose as his running mate a center-right former governor of Sao Paulo state who had been his rival in the 2006 presidential election. EFE


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