MONTEVIDEO – Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez offered congratulations on Monday to far-right lawmaker Jair Bolsonaro on his victory in Brazil’s presidential runoff.
“I want to express, on behalf of the national government and on my own, recognition of – and greetings to – the president-elect of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro,” the center-left head of state told a press conference.
“To express our willingness to maintain the avenues of dialogue, of encounter and of understanding to move forward in a better, if that is possible, relationship between our countries,” Vazquez said.
As for how Bolsonaro’s victory will affect the Mercosur trade bloc – which includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay – Vazquez said that he will have to wait and see how things unfold.
“What attitude will he have towards Mercosur? At this point, I do not dare speculate about that issue because it is a tremendously important matter for all the countries (in) Mercosur,” he said.
Vazquez said that he will call the president-elect to “greet and congratulate him” and perhaps will attend his inauguration on Jan. 1.
Bolsonaro won Sunday’s ballot with 55.13 percent of the votes over Fernando Haddad, candidate of the center-left Workers Party, who got 44.87 percent.