The Jair Bolsonaro (PL) campaign committee believes that the international agenda that the president will fulfill next week could benefit his reelection candidacy. He will attend the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in London on Monday (19), and the next day he will address the 77th UN General Assembly in New York.
The campaign hopes that commitments abroad will give Bolsonaro an image of prestige as head of state and candidate for reelection, despite being on the agenda of the President of the Republic.
Regarding the funeral of the British monarch, election coordinators assure that the intention is not to use the ceremony as an electoral platform. However, they admit that, from a pragmatic point of view, it is a chance to enhance the president’s image of statesmanship by taking advantage of the natural exposure he will receive from the press.
As for the presence at the UN General Assembly, the campaign admits that it is a clear opportunity for Bolsonaro to use as an electoral platform. It is not by chance that interlocutors from the political nucleus anticipate that the idea is to make a speech aimed at the internal public.
What to expect from Bolsonaro’s presence at Elizabeth II’s funeral
Bolsonaro’s trip to the funeral of Elizabeth II fulfills a diplomatic formality. He will attend the ceremony at London’s Westminster Abbey, alongside other heads of state as well as politicians and the British royal family. First lady Michelle Bolsonaro is expected to accompany her husband.
After the funeral, the coffin will be carried in procession to Windsor Castle, where it will be buried. Burial will be in Capela de São Jorge, on the grounds of the castle. The monarch’s body will be placed next to her husband, Prince Philip; her father, King George VI; her mother, Queen Mother Elizabeth; and her sister Princess Margaret.
Bolsonaro’s stay will be short, but relevant. For the campaign committee, it will be important to highlight the status of head of state of the largest economy in Latin America and the importance that the country has on the international stage. Aware that the ceremony will be covered by the press, electoral coordinators are optimistic that the media exposure will allow the Brazilian population and potential voters to see the president’s interaction with the heads of other countries.
For that, he will have to take a break from the electoral campaign agenda. On Saturday (17), Bolsonaro visits Pernambuco and there was the possibility of him staying in the state until Sunday (18). But that was discarded after the Itamaraty received the invitation to the funeral of Elizabeth II. The president leaves for London on Saturday night.
Last Monday (12), he visited the United Kingdom embassy, in Brasília, to sign the book of condolences for the death of the queen. The president was accompanied by the first lady.
Bolsonaro’s trip will be short and, therefore, it is unpredictable whether there will be room for a meeting with the new UK prime minister, Liz Truss, but a bilateral meeting is “always possible”, said the secretary of Multilateral Political Affairs of the country. Itamaraty, Ambassador Paulino Franco.
In a press conference this Thursday (15) to talk about the UN General Assembly, Franco clarified that he did not have information about Bolsonaro’s agenda in London. But he stressed that, “when there is the possibility of meetings” in the English capital, a conversation “is always in the interest of other European leaders and the president”. “[Mas] I don’t know if it will allow great flexibility for meetings. It will all be very marked with the passing”, he pondered.
What will Bolsonaro’s agenda look like at the UN
On Monday night (19), Bolsonaro leaves for New York, where he will be the first to speak at the UN General Assembly, on Tuesday (20). The speech will be aimed at the internal public as an electoral strategy, admit interlocutors from the political core of the campaign.
The objective is to convert votes from voters who are currently willing to vote for a third-way candidacy and convince the undecided portion of the electorate to choose. For this, interlocutors admit that excerpts from the speech can be used within the electoral communication strategy on social networks.
According to electoral coordinators, the speech will focus on extolling the government’s legacy and should address points discussed in other years. For this, different themes will be highlighted, such as: economic and investment recovery; efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine; government actions in defense of the environment and sustainable development; and the importance of Brazil for world food security.
The objective is to present the government as responsible for putting the country on the path of a liberal economy that avoided greater damage caused by the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and how its performance puts Brazil in a prominent role in Latin America and the world. world. The goal is to convey the image that management cared for jobs, life and always defended freedoms.
At the press conference about the participation of the Brazilian delegation at the UN, Ambassador Paulino Franco clarified that, ultimately, the construction of the final text of the speech is up to the Presidency of the Republic. He acknowledged, however, that Itamaraty has prepared subsidies and suggestions that support an “accountability” to the international community, with ideas about the pandemic, the conflict in Ukraine, and about the environment and sustainable development.
On the hypothesis of a speech to the internal public, Paulino believes that the president “will separate the two things”, but understands that he cannot “stop being, also, a candidate for reelection”. “The separation is necessary, but it is not always perfect. It depends on the occasion, the moment and the dialogue that the leaders have with other leaders”, pondered the secretary of Multilateral Political Affairs.
Travel schedule can bring internal and external bonuses to the campaign
The analysis made privately by campaign interlocutors about the possible electoral gains of Bolsonaro’s travel agenda is endorsed by federal deputy Luiz Philippe de Orleans e Bragança (PL-SP), a member of the Chamber’s Foreign Relations Committee and former vice president. of the collegiate.
For the parliamentarian, Bolsonaro wins not only internally, but also externally, starting with the possibility of building the idea of a statesman. “That, until now, I would say that the media has done everything to discredit him”, criticized Orleans and Bragança. For him, the foreign agenda will be an opportunity to oppose world public opinion that builds a “totally untrue” image of the president.
“And that needs to be quelled with actions like this. Not only for the presence, but also for the communion of some rituals and values of the international community. also has internal impacts as well”, he opined.
From a foreign policy perspective, the agenda allows Bolsonaro to gain diplomatic capital by making a commitment to the international community. “It is a sign that he is open to dialogue, but I think that the diplomatic, commercial and strategic posture that the president leads has been one of the government’s strengths,” he praised.
For the parliamentarian, Bolsonaro’s policy inaugurated a new “sovereignist” strand that restored Brazil to a level of international respectability. “Because we are a vassal country of the will of others who think they are more powerful and sophisticated, but the president ‘slapped the table’ and is positioning himself. .
From the perspective of internal and electoral politics, Orleans and Bragança understand that the trips help Bolsonaro to convince a portion of the electorate that, today, is with third-way candidates. “For an identity issue, many do not like the president’s way of thinking he is caustic and informal for the position. This part of the public opinion that tried to build itself in the third way does not vote for the president”, he said. “But with him positioning himself internationally as the head of state I know he can be, those opinions fade away or are reduced to nothing,” he added.
The specialist in international relations Thales Castro, coordinator of the political science course at the Catholic University of Pernambuco (Unicap), agrees with the analysis that the candidacy can be strengthened with travel. “Without a doubt, it is possible to gain support by showing that you have prestige by being in the midst of great world leaders at the queen’s funeral. This deconstructs the left’s narrative that Bolsonaro has no international prestige and that Brazil’s image is damaged,” he said. “The speech at the UN guarantees him a platform to speak to the domestic public”, he added.