World leaders congratulated incoming Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro on his weekend election win but the far-right “tropical Trump” faced calls Monday to ensure he respected democratic principles.

World governments congratulated incoming Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro on his weekend election win but the far-right “tropical Trump” faced calls Monday to ensure he respected democratic principles.

The former army captain, who openly admires Brazil’s former military dictatorship and shocked many with his derogatory remarks on women, gays and black people, won 55 percent of the vote in a run-off election Sunday — more than 10 points ahead of leftist opponent Fernando Haddad.

 United States
President Donald Trump called Bolsonaro on Sunday to congratulate him, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

“Both expressed a strong commitment to work side-by-side to improve the lives of the people of the United States and Brazil, and as regional leaders, of the Americas,” she said.

China
China “congratulates” Bolsonaro and will continue to “deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and promote common development of both countries to benefit the two peoples”, foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a regular press briefing.

In February, Bolsonaro visited Taiwan, breaking convention with Beijing’s One-China policy, which regards the self-governing island as a renegade province.

Despite that, Lu said China — Brazil’s largest trading partner — is “willing to continue to work with Brazil” to boost their strategic partnership.

EU
The European Union expects future Brazilian leaders to “work to consolidate democracy”, an EU spokeswoman said.

“We respect the democratic choices made by the Brazilian people. Brazil is a democratic country with solid, strong institutions,” Natasha Bertaud said when asked whether Bolsonaro’s election posed a threat to democratic values.

“And we expect all future presidents to continue to work to consolidate democracy for the greater good of the Brazilian people.”

She said EU leaders would be sending a letter of congratulations to Bolsonaro.

Russia
President Vladimir Putin sent Bolsonaro a telegram with congratulatory wishes, the Kremlin said.

It said Putin “expressed confidence” in the expansion of Russo-Brazilian relations, as well as in cooperation between Moscow and Rio in the United Nations and in BRICS — the group of emerging economies both countries are part of.

 France
President Emmanuel Macron congratulated Bolsonaro while encouraging him to respect “democratic principles”.

“France and Brazil have a strategic partnership founded on common values of respect and the promotion of democratic principles,” his office said in a statement.

“France hopes to continue its cooperation while respecting these values in order to tackle the big contemporary challenges facing our planet.”

Other figures in Macron’s centrist party, who view far-right nationalist figures like Bolsonaro as their adversaries, were less diplomatic in their assessment of his victory which represents a radical change to the country’s recent politics.

“No democracy is being spared,” a leading MP and spokeswoman for Macron’s Republic on the Move party, Aurore Berge, wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, French far-right leader Marine Le Pen wrote on Twitter: “Good luck to new President Bolsonaro who will need to address Brazil’s very compromised economic, security and democratic situation.”

Italy
Another far-right leader, Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, also hailed Bolsonaro’s victory over his leftist opponent.

“In Brazil too, the people have chased out the left! Good luck with the job president Bolsonaro, the friendship between our people and our governments will be even stronger,” Salvini wrote on Twitter.

He also called for Brazil to extradite fugitive Cesare Battisti, a far-left militant convicted of murder in Italy in the 1970s.

AFP
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