RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro said on Sunday that he wants to “govern for all” and be a “peacemaker” during his participation in a Protestant religious service in Rio de Janeiro at which he attributed his election victory to God.
Before some 4,000 faithful, Bolsonaro said that his aim is to continue in the footsteps of Luis Alves de Lima e Silva, the duke of Caxias, who led Brazil’s forces in the 1864-1870 Paraguayan War – or the War of the Triple Alliance – and is the founder of the Brazilian army.
“Starting next year, I’ll be the president of everyone. We certainly want to continue in the steps of Caxias, the peacemaker. ... With God before all and seeking to take care of everyone who needs it,” said Bolsonaro during his speech.
The reserve army captain emphasized that his election run-off victory last Sunday was “decided by God.”
“Four years ago I decided to run for the presidency without resources, without a party, without television time, with a large part of the media against our proposals. But, if (I) succeeded last Sunday, there’s only one explanation. It’s God who decided it,” he said.
Bolsonaro participated in the service at Rio’s Batista Atitude Church, which his wife Michelle – a Protestant – attends.
The president-elect is Catholic, but in recent years he has tightened his links with influential Protestant churches and two years ago he traveled to Israel to be baptized in the Jordan River, an intensely symbolic act for many Protestants.
Bolsonaro last Sunday won the run-off with 55 percent of the votes, defeating progressive Fernando Haddad, the protege of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
“A new period is arising, where the state will serve the public and not the historically destructive opposition,” claimed Bolsonaro on Sunday in a Twitter message, his main avenue of communication with the public since he won the election.