Bolsonaro lands in Brazil after self-imposed exile

Brazil’s ex-president, Jair Bolsonaro, has returned from his self-imposed exile in the United States.

The far-right former leader landed in the capital, Brasilia, on a commercial flight from Florida, where he spent the past three months.

Supporters draped in Brazil’s flag shouted “legend”, but the former leader was led out by a side exit.

It is the first time he is back in his home country since his supporters stormed Congress on January 8. He faces an investigation into whether he incited the rioters.

There had been much speculation about how many people would turn out to greet the former leader after his 89- day absence.

Following the rioting caused by his supporters on January 8, police have taken precautions, such as cordoning off the main esplanade in the capital. Securi­ty was also tight at the airport.

Brazilian news site, O Globo, said that when his plane touched down at 06:37 local time (09:37 GMT), there were more police officers in attendance at the airport than supporters.

His fans had hoped to catch a glimpse of the former president, but they have now started leaving the premises after Mr Bolsonaro’s son, Eduardo, told them his father had left for the headquarters of the Liberal Party, of which he is a member.

There, he briefly addressed other Lib­eral Party politicians and took a swipe at the government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, saying: “Those people who are in power now, won’t be able to just do what they like”.

The Liberal Party leader has said that he is keen for Mr Bolsonaro to campaign on behalf of the party ahead of local elections next year, but Mr Bolsonaro told CNN before leaving Florida that he would not lead the opposition to the current president, who is known as Lula.

Analysts have pointed out that during his three-month absence, other con­servative politicians have come to the forefront of Brazilian politics.

Mr Bolsonaro left Brazil on board a Brazilian air force plane on December 30, just two days before he was due to hand over the presidential sash to his rival, Lula. —CNN

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