Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and his wife Michelle have unfollowed each other on Instagram in the wake of his narrow election defeat to his left-wing rival Lula.
The right-wing leader is yet to break his silence on the loss amid fears he could refuse to concede, further solidifying his ‘Trump of the Tropics’ moniker.
In the hours after the result was announced, eagle-eyed observers noticed both Bolsonaro and his wife were no longer following each other on Instagram amid rumours of a split.
The first lady also unfollowed her stepson Carlos, the president’s second eldest son, Carlos Bolsonaro, who is believed to run his father’s social media.
Bolsonaro has not posted anything online or spoken to reporters since the defeat, and his furious supporters have blocked roads with trucks and flaming barricades across the country.
Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and his wife Michelle have unfollowed each other on Instagram in the wake of his narrow election defeat to his left-wing rival Lula
In the hours after the result was announced, eagle-eyed observers noticed both Bolsonaro and his wife were no longer following each other
The first lady also unfollowed her stepson Carlos, the president’s second eldest son, Carlos Bolsonaro, who is believed to run his father’s social media
Addressing the rumours, Michelle, 40, posted a statement on her Instagram stories without following her husband back.
She said: ‘With regards to today’s article about my husband having unfollowed me on his Instagram, as Jair explained in several Lives, he does not manage his network.
‘My husband and I remain firm, united, believing in God and believing in the best for Brazil.
‘We will always be together, loving each other in joy and in sadness. May God bless our beloved nation.’
The couple wed in 2007 and is Bolsonaro’s third wife and they share a daughter Laura together.
The president shares three sons with his first wife Rogeria Nantes Braga, and a son with his second wife Ana Cristina Valle.
Addressing the rumours, Michelle, 40, posted a statement on her Instagram stories without following her husband back
The couple wed in 2007 and is Bolsonaro’s third wife and they share a daughter Laura together
Furious Bolsonaro supporters have blocked roads with trucks and flaming barricades across the country
When he was in congress, Bolsonaro hired Michelle as a secretary and received a number of unexpected promotions and her salary tripled under his management.
He was then force to fire her over nepotism after the Supreme Federal Court ruled against him.
Ricardo Barros, Bolsonaro’s whip in the country’s Lower House, told The Associated Press by phone that he was with the president on Monday and that the president was ‘still deciding’ whether to speak about the election’s results.
Much like his political hero Trump, the outgoing Brazilian leader has repeatedly questioned the reliability of the nation’s electronic voting system.
At one point he said he possessed proof of fraud, though he provided no evidence.
Last month, he remarked that if he did not win in the election’s first round, something was ‘abnormal’ – even as most polls showed him trailing.
One meme that went viral earlier Monday featured a picture of a vaguely disoriented-looking Bolsonaro, with the caption, ‘Missing: elderly man, very talkative, has not been heard from in 12 hours.’
Pro-Bolsonaro truckers have set up roadblocks throughout the country to protest Lula’s return to power. Some truckers posted videos calling for a military coup
Supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro protest for intervention by the armed forces outside of a military command facility in Sao Paulo on October 31
Truckers – who have benefited from Bolsonaro lowering diesel costs – are one of the president’s key constituencies, and they have been known to disrupt Brazil’s economy when they shut down highways
Charismatic but tarnished ex-president Lula defeated Bolsonaro by the narrowest margin in Brazil’s modern history – 50.9 percent to 49.1 percent – to return for an unprecedented third term.
Pro-Bolsonaro truckers and protesters have blocked highways in at least 11 states across the country, burning tires and parking vehicles in the middle of the road to halt traffic.
Wearing the yellow and green of the Brazilian flag – which the outgoing president has adopted as his own – the protesters wielded pro-Bolsonaro signs and sang the national anthem, before gradually being broken up by the authorities in some areas.
On Monday night Judge Alexander de Moraes of the Supreme Court ordered police to disperse the blockades immediately.
He was acting in response to a request by a transport federation that complained it was losing business.
Supporters of president-elect Luiz listen to his speech at the Paulista avenue after his victory on the presidential runoff election
A demonstrator waves a Brazilian flag as truck drivers and supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro block a road
Some key Bolsonaro allies have publicly recognized his loss, including the powerful speaker of the lower house of Congress, Arthur Lira.
And international congratulations for Lula poured in from the US, China, India, France, Britain, South Africa and numerous others.
Lula, who previously led Brazil from 2003 to 2010, criticized his nemesis Sunday night for not acknowledging the result.
‘Anyplace else in the world, the defeated president would have called me to recognize his defeat,’ he said in his victory speech to a euphoric sea of red-clad supporters in Sao Paulo.
The ex-metalworker, making his return from controversial, since-quashed corruption charges that sent him to prison for 18 months, vowed to work for ‘peace and unity’ in the divided nation.
Easier said than done, according to political analysts.
‘It was a very narrow victory (that left) half the population unhappy,’ said political scientist Leandro Consentino of Insper university in Sao Paulo.
‘Lula will have to show a lot of political skill to pacify the country.’
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