BRUSSELS – The European Commission said on Monday it hoped Brazil’s President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, a controversial far-right politician, would work to bolster democracy in a way that would benefit his country’s citizens.
Bolsonaro – who is known for his praise for the country’s brutal former military dictatorship, his anti-LGBT hate speech and his militaristic stance on crime – secured 55.2 percent of the national vote to beat his center-left rival Fernando Haddad, who obtained 44.8 percent, in the second round of the presidential election held on Sunday.
“Obviously we respect the democratic election of the Brazilian people,” Commission spokesperson Natasha Bertaud told a Brussels press conference. “Brazil is a democratic country, with solid institutions and we hope that any future president would work to bolster democracy to benefit the Brazilian people.”
Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and the European Council’s chief Donald Tusk would both send a congratulatory letter in due course as per usual procedure, the spokesperson added.