– The festive investment is, however, under close watch for Lula
The 77-year-old former worker begins his third term as Brazil’s president on Sunday.
The return to power will be celebrated by hundreds of thousands of left-wing sympathizers expected for the “most popular party” in Brasilia, in the presence of several heads of state, but under heavy police surveillance.
Security forces will be “mobilized 100%” for Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s inauguration, officials said, after an attempted bombing near the airport last weekend. At least 8,000 policemen will be deployed for security.
The 77-year-old former worker will return to the top office after 12 years, after two terms (2003- 2003 – 2010).
Organized by future First Lady Rosangela “Zanja” da Silva, the event promises to be festive, with nearly thirty concerts before and after the official ceremonies.
Bolsonaro is there or not
Lula will officially become president after pledging to uphold the constitution in parliament. But the image that should grab the headlines the next day will be the moment the bearded tribune climbs the arch that gives access to Oscar Niemeyer’s architectural jewel Planaldo’s presidential palace.
It was then that Lula, the president, was to receive a yellow and green silk scarf set with gold and diamonds. Tradition has it that it was handed down to him by the outgoing president, but Jair Bolsonaro’s presence at the ceremony is considered highly unlikely.
Since losing the second round on October 30 by a narrow margin (50.9%-49.1%), the far-right head of state has never publicly acknowledged the outcome of the ballot. He spent most of his time in seclusion at his official residence in Alvorada.
According to the Brazilian press, he is due to spend the New Year in Florida in the United States, so will be out of Brazil on inauguration day.
Another tradition may be sacrificed: the president-elect’s motorcade is a black Rolls-Royce convertible. For security reasons, Lula may use an armored car.
Suspended weapon port
Flavio Dino, the future public security minister, said on Tuesday that the decision would be made “at the last moment”. Security has been significantly strengthened after a bomb was found in a tanker truck near Brasilia airport last Saturday.
The suspect has been arrested. This supporter of Jair Bolsonaro said he wanted to “cause chaos” and “intervention of the armed forces” to “prevent communism in Brazil,” according to his statement to police published by the press. A large number of weapons were found in his house.
A Supreme Court judge on Wednesday suspended most civilians from carrying weapons until January 2.
Two months after the election, Bolsonaros are still camping outside the camps to demand military intervention. On December 12, some of them burned vehicles and clashed with law enforcement in Brasilia.
Two concert stages
Despite these security concerns, roughly 300,000 people are expected to arrive in Brasília by plane, bus or carpool, compared with about 115,000 for Bolsonaro’s 2018 inauguration.
The future first lady, “Zanja”, has promised a “huge popular party”, with concerts spread over two stages and a very eclectic program with headlines such as drag queen Pablo Vitor or the living legend of Samba Martinho da Vila.
The crowd will gather on the lawn of the grand Esplanade of Ministries, near the Place des Trois Beauvoirs, where the Planalto Palace, Parliament and the Supreme Court meet.
At least 53 foreign delegates, including 17 heads of state, including the presidents of Germany or neighboring Argentina, but Spain’s king Felipe are expected to invest six more.
US President Joe Biden, who served as vice president when Dilma Rousseff took office in 2015, decided to send his Interior Secretary Deb Holland, the first Native American named to a federal government, to Brasilia.