Brazil’s Bolsonaro swipes at newly released Lula

Brasilia – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Twitter took a first swipe at his rival Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Saturday after the leftist former leader was released from prison, highlighting deep political divisions likely to flare in the comings days.

Bolsonaro’s tweet came after Lula – who was president from 2003 to 2010 – vowed in a video on social media to “help liberate Brazil from the madness that is happening in our country.”

Bolsonaro suggested Lula was a “scoundrel” and urged his followers to rally behind the government’s right-wing agenda, saying they should not let “the new phase of Brazil’s recovery” be derailed.

“Lovers of freedom and good, we are the majority. Without a north star and a directive, even the best troops become a band shooting at all sides, including friends,” Bolsonaro wrote.

“Do not give ammunition to the scoundrel, who is momentarily free but full of guilt,” he added, not referring to Lula by name.