LP President Valdemar Costa Neto (Photo: REUTERS/Adriano Machado)

(Text updated with statements and additional information)

(Reuters) – Valdemar Costa Neto, president of the LP, the party of former President Jair Bolsonaro, said on Friday he resorted to a “metaphor” when he told O Globo newspaper that there were proposals for coup decrees, such as the one captured by the federal police at the residence of former Minister of Justice Anderson Torres, “at everyone’s home.”

In an interview with CNN Brasil, Costa Neto defended Bolsonaro several times, saying that he did nothing outside the law, and said that he received documents suggesting that President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva not be inaugurated on the streets and at airports.

“I even used a metaphor when I said that everyone has it at home. Because it was a business run by the government, people said, “Look, I got an offer here.” I received and sharpened. Anderson didn’t. It must have happened to him,” he told the TV channel.

“Bolsonaro never touched this topic with me. Once I discussed this topic with him. I said: “Bolsonaro, everything that is done must be done within the law, because everything you do is not in accordance with the law, what will happen? All countries will be against us, our economy will fly into space, and with it the government.” He said: “No, Waldemar, forget it, I’m not going to do anything outside the law.”

In an interview with the newspaper, the party leader stated that Bolsonaro did not seek to stage a coup to prevent Lula from taking office because he “did not see the opportunity to do so.”

In an interview with the TV channel, he, in turn, tried to clarify the speech, saying that Bolsonaro never considered the possibility of carrying out a coup d’état.

“(Bolsonaro) never thought about it. Hit no! Never! Because otherwise I would have done it, and I would have made a big mistake, because there was no way it could have worked. There was a time when it worked,” he said.

“I am not doing this to protect anyone, I am doing this so that our people understand that if Bolsonaro can do something within the law, he will do it. Don’t worry, it’s illegal. So he didn’t do it because it was against the law.”


Valdemar Costa Neto also stated that the former president would be very strong if he tried again to win the Planalto team in 2026, but he would be even stronger if he was not a candidate and supported another name.

“Bolsonaro, if he is a candidate, he will be a very strong candidate. If he is not a candidate, he will be even stronger, because this right-wing movement will remain,” said the PL chairman.

“Therefore, if there is another candidate that Bolsonaro supports, he does not bring his refusal … The comrade did not want to vote for him (in 2022) because he hated Bolsonaro, and voted for Lulu because he had no other choice. If he supports another candidate, we will be invincible in the next election,” he added.

The PL president admitted that Bolsonaro “made too many mistakes” during the pandemic, just as he did at the start of his reign.

“Bolsonaro would have won the election in the first round if he had not made so many mistakes in the first year and a half. I would easily win in the first round.”

Luis Inácio Lula da Silva (Portugal) was elected president in the second round with 50.9% of the valid votes against 49.1% for Bolsonaro, a difference of just over 2 million votes.

Valdemar mentioned the name of Bolsonaro’s wife and former first lady Michele as a possible candidate for the presidency if the former president decides not to try again, as well as the governors of Minas Gerais, Romeu Zema (Novo) and São Paulo, Paulo, Tarcisio de Freitas (Republicans ).

“I think Zema is a strong candidate four years ahead, just as I think Tarcisio could be a very strong candidate,” he said, adding that the doors of the PL are open if the Governor of Minas Gerais wants to join the party. . .

The PL president also said he was counting on Bolsonaro in Brasilia to strengthen the party. The former president is currently in the United States, where he traveled on the eve of the end of his term, at the end of December.

(Eduardo Simões, Sao Paulo)