Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has joined a growing list of world leaders condemning protesters who stormed Brazil’s Congress and Supreme Court.
Supporters of far-right former President Jair Bolsonaro rioted through the nation’s capital on Sunday, drawing comparisons to the deadly Capitol riots in the United States on Jan. 6, 2021.
Along with Congress, the crowd of thousands broke into the Supreme Court and surrounded the presidential palace, while still refusing to recognize the results of last October’s elections.
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, known by the nickname Lula, labeled the protesters “fascist fanatics” and said they must be punished.
Prime Minister Albanese said his government supports democracies and urged people to respect the outcome of the elections.
“The actions of a small number of people are condemned by the Australian government, and we will continue to convey our support to the Brazilian government at this difficult time,” he told reporters.
The prime minister said it was “for others to speculate” whether Mr Bolsanaro’s supporters were inspired by the Jan. 6 riots, which saw supporters of former US President Donald Trump invade the Washington Capitol.
Demonstrators broke through police barricades and stormed Congress, the Presidential Palace and the Supreme Court. Source: AAP / Sergio Lima
“But what is very clear is that it is important that elections are respected in democracies,” Albanese said.
“Tragically, we’ve seen actions here that are a bit similar to what happened in the US Capitol on January 6 after President Biden was elected…it’s important that we respect democratic processes.”
The opposition’s foreign policy spokesman, Simon Birmingham, echoed the Prime Minister’s view.
“Given democratic outcomes, there is no place for violence,” he tweeted.
“Those who can influence protesters should use all their influence to end this violence.”
Joe Biden faces a big decision about Jair Bolsonaro’s future
Mr. Bolsonaro flew to Florida two days before his January 1 term expired, leaving behind a movement of protesters
US President Joe Biden is now facing mounting pressure to remove Mr Bolsonaro from his self-imposed exile in suburban Orlando.
“Bolsonaro shouldn’t be in Florida,” Democratic Congressman Joaquin Castro said on CNN. “The United States should not be a haven for this authoritarian who inspired domestic terrorism in Brazil. He should be sent back to Brazil.”
Brazil’s former President Jair Bolsonaro now resides in Florida. Source: Getty / (Photo by MAURO PIMENTEL/AFP via Getty Images)
Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shared these views.
“The US must stop granting sanctuary to Bolsonaro in Florida,” she tweeted on Sunday. “Almost two years to the day, when the US Capitol was attacked by fascists, we see fascist movements abroad trying to do the same in Brazil.”
Her comments inflame Mr Bolsonaro and highlight Washington’s big decision about his future.
Mr Bolsonaro had an uneasy relationship with Mr Biden and was already on weaker ground at home in Brazil after losing full protections from prosecution when he stepped down as president.
“I condemn the attack on democracy and the peaceful transfer of power in Brazil,” Biden wrote on Twitter.
“Brazil’s democratic institutions have our full support and the will of the Brazilian people must not be undermined.”