Bolsonaro Refuses to Congratulate Argentinian President-Elect Alberto Fernández

Fernández defends release of ex-president Lula

Ana Estela de Sousa Pinto Natasha Bin Sylvia Colombo
Buenos Aires and Doha

President Jair Bolsonaro (PSL), said on Monday (28) that he will not congratulate Peronist Alberto Fernández, first-round winner of Sunday's elections (27) in Argentina.

"I don't intend to congratulate him. Now let's not get upset. Let's wait for the time to see what his real position is in politics. Because he's going to take over, he's going to take stock of what's going on, and let's see what line he's going to take," Bolsonaro said.

President-elect Alberto Fernandez flashes a V sign as he leaves after a meeting with Argentina's President Mauricio Macri at the presidential palace Casa Rosada, after Fernandez won in the presidential elections, in Buenos Aires, Argentina October 28, 2019. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes - REUTERS

Bolsonaro said he regretted the election results in the neighboring country. "I'm sorry. I don't have a crystal ball, but I think Argentina chose badly. Fernández's first act was already Lula Livre (Free Lula), saying that he is unjustly imprisoned. I told him what he came for."

Before the release of the results, Fernández had posted a photo on Twitter, making the letter L with his hands, a symbol of the Lula Livre movement. He congratulated the former Brazilian president on his 74th birthday (completed on Sunday).

Regarding Mercosur, Bolsonaro said that "for the moment everything is fine". In July, Fernández said he would review the agreement between Mercosur and the European Union to see if pact represented deindustrialization for the country.

"Let's wait until reality bath he's going to have," said Bolsonaro. According to the president, some companies are already withdrawing investments from the neighboring country.

The Brazilian, however, ruled out the possibility of Brazil leaving Mercosur, as he had previously considered. Instead, he spoke of "ousting Argentina" if the Peronist election affects the bloc agreement. 

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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