An 'assault on democracy': World leaders react to pro-Bolsonaro riots in Brazil

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By Euronews  with Reuters
Police stand on the other side of a window at Planalto Palace that was shattered by protesters. Sunday, 8 January 2023.
Police stand on the other side of a window at Planalto Palace that was shattered by protesters. Sunday, 8 January 2023.   -   Copyright  Eraldo Peres/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved

Global leaders and high-ranking officials have condemned the events that unfolded in Brazil on Sunday, which saw supporters of far-right former President Jair Bolsonaro ransack political buildings in the country's capital.

The rioters refused to accept the election of leftist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was inaugurated at the start of the year, and hoped to provoke a military coup to reinstate Bolsonaro.

Commentators have described Sunday's insurrection as the worst assault on Brazilian democracy in decades, and have compared it to the invasion of US Congress on 6 January 2021.

Here are some of the most prominent reactions from politicians around the world.

US President Joe Biden: An 'assault on democracy'

"I condemn the assault on democracy and on the peaceful transfer of power in Brazil. Brazil's democratic institutions have our full support and the will of the Brazilian people must not be undermined. I look forward to continuing to work with @LulaOficial."

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola: 'Democracy must always be respected'

"Deeply concerned about what is happening at Brazil. Democracy must always be respected. The European Parliament is on the side of the Lula government and all legitimate and democratically elected institutions."

French President Emmanuel Macron: 'Lula can count on France's unwavering support'

"The will of the Brazilian people and the democratic institutions must be respected! President @LulaOficial can count on France's unwavering support."

UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly: 'Unjustifiable'

"The violent attempts to undermine democracy in Brazil are unjustifiable. President @LulaOficial and the government of Brazil have the full support of the UK."

Portuguese Foreign Minister João Gomes Cravinho: 'Bolsonaro has responsibility'

"Without a doubt, former president Bolsonaro has responsibility. His voice is heard by these anti-democratic demonstrators. It would be very important if he had a message of condemnation in the face of the disorder that is currently happening in Brasilia."

Italy PM Giorgia Meloni: 'Solidarity with Brazilian institutions'

"What is happening in Brazil cannot leave us indifferent. The images of the irruption into institutional offices are unacceptable and incompatible with any form of democratic dissent. A return to normality is urgently needed and we express solidarity with Brazilian institutions."

Spain PM Pedro Sánchez: 'Call for the immediate return to democratic normality'

"All my support to President @LulaOficial and to the free and democratically elected institutions of the Brazilian people. We categorically condemn the assault on the Brazilian Congress and make a call for the immediate return to democratic normality."

India PM Narendra Modi: 'Deeply concerned'

"Deeply concerned about the news of rioting and vandalism against the State institutions in Brasilia. Democratic traditions must be respected by everyone. We extend our full support to the Brazilian authorities."

Argentinian President Alberto Fernández: an 'attempted coup'

"I want to express my rejection of what is happening in Brasilia. Mine and the Argentine people's unconditional support for @LulaOficial in the face of this attempted coup he is facing."

Peru's Foreign Ministry: 'energetically condemns the assault'

"The government of Peru energetically condemns the assault on the headquarters of congress, the presidency and the supreme court of Brazil and any attempt to disregard the legitimacy of the October 2022 elections. Our solidarity with President Lula and Brazilian democracy."