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Brazil’s Bolsonaro said the military would obey his orders to take to the streets

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Brazilian President Bolsonaro attends a virtual global climate summit via a video link in Brasilia

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Friday if he ordered the army to take to the streets and restore order, “the order will be followed”, posing new questions about his politicization armed forces.

Speaking in a televised interview, Bolsonaro said he would not “go into detail what I am preparing.” But he said “if we have problems, we plan how to get into the field … our armed forces might one day take to the streets.”

Comments by Bolsonaro, a former far-right army captain who has long hailed Brazil’s two-decade-long military dictatorship, will not calm critics who are worried about his politicization of the military. Others worry about his commitment to the peaceful handover of power in the event of a tight outcome in next year’s presidential election.

Pressure has increased on the president as the coronavirus pandemic in Brazil got out of control. He has faced widespread criticism for handling the outbreak in Brazil, the country with the second highest coronavirus deaths in the world after the United States.

Last month, Bolsonaro brought his former chief of staff to the Department of Defense and swapped all three commanders of the armed forces as part of a cabinet reform that was met with shock from military officers. senior team.

Since winning the 2018 election, Bolsonaro has made unfounded allegations of voter fraud in Brazil, which critics say could provide a basis for challenging upcoming elections. Like his political idol, former US President Donald Trump.

Bolsonaro backed him up after Trump plots of a stolen election last year, which culminated in the deadly attack on Jan. 6 of his supporters on the Capitol building in Washington.

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