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Jair Bolsonaro: Brazil’s new far-right president urges unity

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Brazil’s far-right President, Jair Bolsonaro, has used his inaugural speech to promise to build a “society without discrimination or division”.

The former army captain told Congress he wanted a “national pact” to free Brazil of corruption, crime and economic mismanagement.

In a swipe at the left, he vowed to free Brazil of “ideology”.

He is seen as a deeply divisive figure whose racist, homophobic and misogynistic remarks have angered many.

Mr Bolsonaro, 63, won the presidential election by a wide margin against Fernando Haddad of the left-wing Workers’ Party on 28 October.

He was propelled to victory by campaign promises to curb Brazil’s rampant corruption and crime.

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US President Donald Trump commended him for his speech on Tuesday, saying the US was “with” him.

Among the foreign guests at the inauguration were US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.

What exactly did Bolsonaro promise?

“Brazil will return to being a country free of ideological constrictions,” he told Congress in the capital, Brasilia.

“I will divide power in a progressive, conscientious and responsible way.”

His administration, he said, was “committed to those Brazilians who want good schools to prepare their kids for the job market and not for political militancy”.

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Pledging support form the military and police, he said: “The national motto is order and progress. No society can develop without respecting these.”

On the economy, he promised to “create a new virtuous cycle to open markets” and “carry out important structural reforms” to tackle the public deficit.

In an apparent reference to gun control, he said, “Good citizens deserve the means to defend themselves.” On Saturday, he had tweeted that he would issue a decree to allow citizens who do not have a criminal record to own guns.

On a day filled with pageant, he travelled to Congress in an open-top vintage Rolls Royce escorted by cavalry on white horses and jogging security guards, as crowds of supporters cheered.

“I came here just for the inauguration,” supporter Antonio Vendramin told AFP news agency.

“I made a lot of money and saved money to buy the ticket, to be able to buy the plane ticket because it’s a long way to come by car but we managed to make it all the way to be here on this day for President Bolsonaro’s inauguration. We’re full of pride.”

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Source: bbc.com

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