BRASILIA – Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro made on Tuesday his first official appearance in that capacity before the national congress, saying that his “only guide” in governing after he takes office on Jan. 1 will be the Constitution.
“We’re at one of the centers of power,” declared the ultrarightist politician in the Chamber of Deputies, where lawmakers commemorated the 30th anniversary of the promulgation of the country’s Constitution, adding that all the public branches of government must maintain “the commitment and the responsibility” for the future of the country.
Bolsonaro came to Brasilia for the first time since winning the Oct. 28 run-off election and will spend three days in the capital to handle details of the transition with current President Michel Temer, after which he will return to Rio de Janeiro, where he has his private residence.
The president-elect, who held a seat in the lower house for the past 27 years, said that “in democracy there is only one guide ... (which is) the Constitution,” adding that lawmakers are continuing to lay the basis “to continue building the Brazil that the public deserves” and the country’s future as a “great” nation.
“I believe in God, in the Brazilian people, in our potential, and I ask God to enlighten us all to continue designing the destiny that our people deserve,” said Bolsonaro, a controversial reserve army captain with strong religious convictions.
As he regularly did during the course of the election campaign, he concluded his brief address with a phrase that he has made into his slogan – “Brazil above all, God above everyone” – which was received with applause by many of the legislators present.
After the ceremony in congress, Bolsonaro’s agenda includes meetings with the commanders of the armed forces and with the transition team, which since Monday has been exchanging information with various government officials.
On Wednesday, Bolsonaro will be welcomed by Temer at Planalto Palace, the government headquarters, and will meet with legislative and judicial authorities before he returns to Rio de Janeiro on Thursday.