Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro met briefly on Thursday with the envoy coordinating the transfer of power to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, four days after Mr Bolsonaro’s tight election loss.
The meeting between Brazil’s far-right outgoing president and vice president-elect Geraldo Alckmin took place at the presidential palace, according to Mr Alckmin, who heads Mr da Silva’s transition team.
The team had earlier arrived in the capital of Brasilia, launching the process that will culminate with Mr da Silva’s January 1 inauguration.
While Mr Bolsonaro declined to publicly concede defeat in his first public comments on Tuesday, his chief of staff Ciro Nogueira told reporters he had received authorisation from the incumbent for the transition process to proceed.
“It was positive,” Mr Alckmin told journalists after Thursday’s meeting with Mr Bolsonaro. He refused to answer whether the incumbent had congratulated him for Sunday’s victory.
Mr Bolsonaro spoke about “the federal government’s readiness to provide every information, help, so we have a transition that is guided by the public interest”, the vice president-elect said.
Mr Alckmin’s team’s first meeting of the day was with Senator Marcelo Castro, who is responsible for the government’s 2023 budget proposal.
The vice president-elect urged lawmakers to adopt an emergency measure to allow new spending that the future administration considers essential, including monthly welfare payments of 600 reals (£105).
He showed willingness to discuss whatever is set as a priority for the (future) government. The doors are openJose Guimaraes
Without that emergency action, the current budget would reduce these payments to 400 reals (£69) in January. Lawmakers told reporters that a decision on whether to make the change would be made by Monday.
Mr Alckmin added he will return to Brasilia on Tuesday for more talks.
Mr da Silva’s Worker’s Party is also seeking negotiations with Chamber of Deputies Speaker Arthur Lira, who has been a close ally of Mr Bolsonaro. He is expected to seek re-election for the job next year.
“He showed willingness to discuss whatever is set as a priority for the (future) government. The doors are open,” Workers’ Party lawmaker Jose Guimaraes said.
The meetings aim to ensure governability with a potentially contentious Congress and provide reassurance that Mr Bolsonaro’s administration will be cooperative.
There had been widespread concern Mr Bolsonaro might present claims of fraud and challenge the results of Sunday’s election, following the example of former US president Donald Trump.
There have been questions about the ease with which Mr da Silva will be able to govern, partly because conservative lawmakers from Mr Bolsonaro’s party and others did well in the first round of the election on October 2.
In addition, the “Big Centre” bloc of politicians known for exchanging support for positions and pork has been supporting Mr Bolsonaro to date.
An opening came on Sunday when Mr Lira became the first prominent Bolsonaro ally to recognise the election results.
In a video posted to social media Wednesday, Mr Bolsonaro addressed his supporters, calling for them to end their nationwide protests.
They had blocked hundreds of roads, with some people calling for military intervention to overturn the election results.
In the narrowest presidential election since Brazil’s return to democracy in 1985, Mr da Silva beat Mr Bolsonaro by about two million votes.
“I know you’re upset. I’m just as sad and upset as you are. But we have to keep our heads straight,” Mr Bolsonaro said. “Closing roads in Brazil jeopardises people’s right to come and go.”
By Thursday morning, more than 850 protests had broken up, leaving 73 partial or full blockages of roads, the federal highway police said. Of the 13 full blockages, most were in the southern state of Santa Catarina.