Tension flew high in the Portuguese parliament during a vote to condemn violence and disorder in Brazil from supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro. The leader of far-right party Chega (Enough), André Ventura during the Jan. 13 session called newly-elected President Lula da Silva a “bandit”. The remark caused a stir among left-parties in the Portuguese parliament.
Ventura received a reprimand from the president of the Assembly Augusto Santos Silva but did not back down, offering to drop his parliamentary immunity in case the remark would cause him to go to jail. He said that he understood why so many Brazilians protested the new president, as they didn’t want to be governed by a bandit, a remark on charges against Lula da Silva, who was charged in a corruption case in 2018 and was in jail until 2021, when charges were dropped.
Minutes after Ventura’s remark, the parliament voted unanimously to condemn the invasion and attacks towards Brazilian institutions. Chega’s MP also voted in favour of the condemnation. Ventura also accused Santos Silva, a member of the ruling Socialist Party, of “ideological blindness” because the vote was only on Brazil but ignored far left-inspired violence in Peru and Colombia.
MPs from the Socialist Party, from Social-Democrat and from Left Bloc all condemned Ventura. PS vice-president Pedro Delgado Alves accused Ventura of “taking us for fools” over the reasons why he understands the reasons of protestors. The leader of Left Bloc Joana Mortágua called on the “bad conscience” of Chega, as the party supported both Jair Bolsonaro and Donald Trump.