Jair Bolsonaro: Far-right president takes office in Brazil


Netanyahu is in Brazil with his wife, Sara, and their eldest son, Yair, to attend the inauguration of President-elect Jair Bolsonaro. He has pledged to take Latin America's largest nation in a new direction - allowing citizens to arm themselves to fight crime, promoting more development in the environmentally sensitive Amazon, and moving away from a left-leaning foreign policy.

"I have no intention of resigning, firstly because there will be nothing (to come from the probes), secondly because the law does not oblige me to do so", Netanyahu said in Rio.

Bolsonaro has said he wants closer ties with the USA and Israel, breaking with decades of center-left policies which sought to position Brazil as a Latin American power nurturing relations with all countries.

Crowds gather at Brazil's President Elect Jair Bolsonaro inauguration.

"I also came to watch the official exit of the Workers' Party from the presidency", she said.

Bolsonaro did little moderating since being elected in October, with progressives and liberals decrying stances that they say are homophobic, sexist, and racist.

In their most recent move, police recommended Netanyahu be indicted over regulatory benefits allegedly granted to telecoms firm Bezeq in exchange for positive coverage from a related media company.

"We attach enormous importance to Brazil, and Brazil in the context of Latin America".

A former army captain and outspoken supporter of Brazil's 1964 -1985 military dictatorship, during which time hundreds of political opponents were executed and thousands more tortured, until recently, Bolsonaro was largely considered a fringe politician best known for disparaging remarks against LGBT people, minorities and women. He has courted US President Donald Trump, a politician he admires and emulates.

Also like Trump, the brash Bolsonaro has ruffled feathers both at home and overseas with his unequivocal support for Israel and his promise to move Brazil's embassy to Jerusalem.

He is the first Israeli prime minister to visit Brazil.

Mr Bolsonaro has been scathing in his criticism of the left-wing governments of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, and cancelled invitations to their leaders.

Bolsonaro rose to power as he promised to eradicate the corruption and crime in the country during the election campaign.

As a fringe politician with few alliances, Bolsonaro was one of the few to emerge unscathed from the scandals.

Netanyahu last week announced a snap election would be held in April, seeking a fresh political mandate that could help him weather possible charges in corruption investigations.