Brazilian Bolsonaro leads motorcycle parade despite pandemic – Manila Bulletin

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro led a motorcycle rally in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday as crowds gathered amid the coronavirus pandemic to cheer him on.

The far-right leader was accompanied by an important safety detail at the head of several thousand motorcycles which was projected live on the president’s official Facebook page.

The parade comes as Bolsonaro tried to galvanize his base of support at a time when his popularity fell to its lowest since taking the presidency in January 2019, and with the latest opinion polls putting him behind the ex-president Lula before next year. election.

A Senate commission is investigating its handling of the pandemic with 450,000 people deceased from COVID-19.

Sunday’s rally started at the Rio 2016 Olympic Park and lasted an hour and a half as it passed the city’s most iconic beaches, Ipanema and Copacabana.

Supporters lining the road applauded the president and waved Brazilian flags.

About half an hour after the parade started, the motorcycles stopped for a few minutes as Bolsonaro, wearing a helmet but no face mask, stood on his machine and waved to the crowd, who shouted ‘legend’ at him. while the engines were running.

On Friday, Bolsonaro was fined by a northeastern state government “for promoting rallies in Maranhao without health guarantees.”

Bolsonaro had handed out rural land titles in front of a crowd of people without masks at an event in a town in Maranhao state, where gatherings of more than 100 people are prohibited.

Bolsonaro’s office has two weeks of appeal, after which the amount of the fine will be set.

At the end of April, Bolsonaro said he was waiting “for a sign from the people” to end pandemic restrictions taken locally by mayors and governors in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus, insinuating he might even deploy the military.

Since then, pro-Bolsonaro protests have taken place every weekend without any trace of social distancing.

The president attracted attention, even appearing on horseback at a farmers’ protest in the capital Brasilia.



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