At 22:00 Greek time (17:00 Brazilian time), the meeting between the president of SYRIZA, Alexis Tsipras, and Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, will take place. This will make Tsipras the only foreign politician to meet with Lula before his inauguration on Sunday.
According to SYRIZA's sources, Tsipras is the only politician who will meet personally with Lula before his swearing-in, a fact indicative of the importance the new Brazilian president attaches to the role played by SYRIZA in European developments and the formulation of progressive policies.
Characteristic, according to party sources, is also the fact that the party leader was invited to attend the special high-level reception immediately after Lula's inauguration on January 1, to which dozens of state leaders have been invited.
Tsipras will have the opportunity to meet and talk, as reported by the same sources.
The president of SYRIZA-PS, together with José Mujica and Tabaré Vázquez, former presidents of Uruguay, and Evo Morales, former president of Bolivia, are the only political personalities from the international arena, who will participate in the said reception and not hold the office of head of state.
The heads of state who will attend the inauguration
At the same time, heads of state are arriving in Brasilia, who will participate in this reception and heads of multi-member and high-level national delegations, which, according to the party, shows the importance of Lula's assumption of the presidency of Brazil.
In particular, the swearing-in will be attended by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier (he is accompanied by two ministers and a deputy minister in charge of environment and international economic cooperation), the King of Spain, Felipe VI (accompanied to Brasilia by the vice president of government of Spain Yolanda Díaz) and the President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa (he is accompanied by the Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs).
Lula's inauguration will bring to the capital of Brazil the presidents of the vast majority of Latin American countries, who do not only come from the progressive political camp.
Among the presidents who will attend the inauguration and participate in the reception of the leaders are the Presidents of Argentina Alberto Fernández, of Chile Gabriel Boric, of Bolivia Luis Arce, of Ecuador Guillermo Lasso and of Uruguay Luis Lacalle Pou.
Leading politicians and state actors of the world's most powerful states will also travel to Brasilia for Lula's swearing-in.
Meanwhile, outgoing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has left the country for the United States, avoiding the inauguration of the incoming president, who defeated him in the country’s October elections.
Bolsonaro left Brazil on Friday, reportedly flying to the US state of Florida after giving a final address to his followers, some of whom have pushed for a military coup in the aftermath of his election loss.
In a teary address, Bolsonaro said that he had “lost the battle but not the war” and distanced himself from recent acts of political violence by his supporters, saying that he “did not encourage anyone to enter confrontation”.
The far-right leader has stayed mostly out of sight following his defeat, and his plans for the future remain unclear. The website FlightAware, which monitors air traffic, showed that the presidential plane left the capital Brasilia after 2pm local time (17:00 GMT) and is on its way to Orlando, Florida.
Vice President Hamilton Mourao has temporarily become the country’s acting president and confirmed that Bolsonaro had left the country. Bolsonaro had repeatedly stated that he did not want to pass the presidential sash to Lula during the inauguration.
Ahead of Lula’s swearing-in ceremony on January 1, officials have taken extra security precautions, including a temporary ban on firearms in the capital, as the transition of power takes place amid high tensions and concerns over potential violence.
For years, Bolsonaro spread anti-democratic rhetoric and sowed doubt about the integrity of Brazil’s election system, hinting that he would refuse to step down if he lost the election against his left-wing rival.
Following his defeat on October 31, Bolsonaro did not explicitly concede but stated that he would follow the country’s constitution. He served a single term as president.
Some of his supporters have refused to accept the results, camping out in front of military barracks in a bid to prompt a military intervention to roll back the results of the election.
On December 12, members of one encampment attacked federal police headquarters in Brasilia following the official certification of the election results earlier in the day. And last Saturday, a man was arrested for allegedly trying to set off a bomb to protest Lula’s win. He said that Bolsonaro had inspired him to build an arsenal of weapons.
Bolsonaro condemned that effort as a “terrorist act” and said that the suspect “had ideas that are not shared by any citizen”.
The far-right leader could also face a number of legal challenges once his time in office officially ends and his presidential immunity expires. The country’s Supreme Court is investigating him for allegedly releasing confidential information and improperly interfering with a police investigation.
Some have noted that, despite Bolsonaro’s loss, the country’s conservative movement performed well in the October elections and will remain a powerful force in Brazilian politics.
“I am in flight,” Bolsonaro was quoted as saying by broadcaster CNN Brasil on Friday. “Back soon.”
READ MORE: Tsipras welcomes 2023 with a video aimed at young people.