Emmanuel Macron congratulates Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro

Jair Bolsonaro, far-right lawmaker and presidential candidate for the Social Liberal Party (PSL), gestures to supporters during the second round of the presidential elections, in Rio de Janeiro CREDIT- AFP

French President Emmanuel Macron has congratulated populist Jair Bolsonaro on being “elected by the Brazilian people to the presidency.”

Macron’s carefully worded message comes in a statement from the Elysee that highlights the “common values” of the “promotion of democratic principles” in the two big economies.

Bolsonaro had been criticized prior to vote for saying he would not accept the election result if he lost.

Monday’s statement also notes that France wants to continue working alongside Brazil “to meet the great contemporary challenges of our planet,” including climate change.

Bolsonaro recently said he would not leave the Paris Climate Agreement after earlier threatening to do so.

U.S. President Donald Trump says he has had “a very good conversation” with Brazil’s new far-right president-elect and they’ll be working together on trade and the military.

Trump tweeted Monday morning that he congratulated Jair Bolsonaro on his weekend victory in Brazil’s election, pointing out Bolsonaro “won his race by a substantial margin.”

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Trump tweets, “We agreed that Brazil and the United States will work closely together on Trade, Military and everything else! Excellent call, wished him congrats!”

Bolsonaro has promised to defend Brazil’s constitution and unite a divided populace following a bitter campaign. While running for Brazil’s presidency Bolsonaro cast himself as a political outsider despite a 27-year career in congress. His rise parallels the emergence of hard-right leaders in many other countries.

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has sent a message of encouragement to Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro.

Le Pen wished Bolsonaro “good luck” via her official Twitter account Monday.

She said he will have to “rectify the very fragile economic, security and democratic situation of Brazil.”

She also interpreted the results as a rebuke by Brazilians of “the widespread corruption and terrifying crime that flourished under far-left governments.” Le Pen has had consistent praise for populist leaders around the world.

The spokesperson for French President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist party in parliament, Aurore Berge, meanwhile, tweeted a warning over the Brazilian election results that “no democracy is safe.”

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In some of his first words to the nation as president-elect, far-right politician Jair Bolsonaro promised to defend the constitution and unite a bitterly divided populace.

His left-wing rival immediately vowed to mount a vigorous opposition, while rights groups warned against a rollback of civil liberties.

That juxtaposition underscored the reality that the end of the election was not the end of acrimony and that myriad challenges lay ahead for Latin America’s largest nation.

Bolsonaro appeared to try to allay those concerns Sunday night, saying he would “pacify” Brazil following a race that revealed deep divisions and was repeatedly marred by violence.

The candidate himself was stabbed and almost died while campaigning in early September, and there were numerous reports of politically motivated violence, especially directed at gay people.

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