World: Brazil prosecutors seek to suspend top highway cop for Bolsonaro support

After Brazil election loss, what’s next for Bolsonaro?

  After Brazil election loss, what’s next for Bolsonaro? In a deeply divided country, the far-right outgoing president will not slink into the shadows, analysts say.Allies who sought to commiserate with defeated President Jair Bolsonaro were reportedly told that he had gone to bed after the results came in, neither thanking his 58 million supporters nor congratulating the new president-elect.

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazilian prosecutors on Tuesday sought to suspend the country's federal highway police (PRF) chief for 90 days, accusing him of administrative wrongdoing for using his position to favor President Jair Bolsonaro during the presidential election.

Federal prosecutors in Rio accused PRF Director General Silvinei Vasques of having committed malicious acts against the public administration, a filing to the Rio de Janeiro federal court seen by Reuters showed.

A federal judge must accept the prosecutors' request for Vasques to be suspended and prosecuted.

The PRF, accused of becoming a pro-Bolsonaro force over the last four years, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Brazil criticizes the leaders who go to private jet to COP27, where Bolsonaro is absent for the second consecutive year.

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On Oct. 30, the day of a runoff vote that the far-right Bolsonaro lost to leftist President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the PRF faced accusations of conducting illegal road blockades across the poor northeast of Brazil to prevent voters traveling by public transport from voting. The northeast is a stronghold of Lula voters.

Prosecutors noted that during the campaign, Vasques posted social media messages of support for the president. On the eve of the runoff vote, the prosecutors added, Vasques urged his followers to vote for Bolsonaro.

"It is impossible to deny that the defendant's conduct, especially on the eve of the election, contributed greatly to the climate of instability and confrontation ... on the day of the second round of elections and after the election results announcement," the prosecutors said.

In the days after Bolsonaro's loss, his supporters blocked hundreds of highways across the country calling for military intervention to keep the president in power. Critics accused the PRF of taking too long to clear the roads, even after Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes ordered them to do so.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier; Writing by Peter Frontini; Editing by Richard Chang)

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