Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a Donald Trump ally who has conspicuously refrained from acknowledging Joe Biden's victory in the US presidential race, will congratulate "whomever is elected" when "the time is right," his vice president said Monday.
Bolsonaro, a far-right politician sometimes called the "Tropical Trump," is among the few world leaders not to congratulate Biden after he was declared the winner of last week's election -- a fact that has drawn criticism from the Brazilian leader's opponents.
Referring to Trump's accusations that the vote was marred by widespread "fraud," Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourao said Bolsonaro was waiting for those allegations to be resolved.
"I believe the president is waiting for the end of that whole mess, the argument over whether there were fake votes or not, before he comments," said Mourao.
"Clearly, when the time is right, he will send Brazil's congratulations to whomever is elected," he added, without mentioning Biden by name.
Trump alleges the election was "rigged," though he has provided no concrete evidence, and analysts say he will struggle to make his case in court.
Bolsonaro, who was elected in 2018, openly endorsed Trump's reelection bid, in a break with Brazilian diplomatic tradition.
True to the confrontational style he shares with Trump, he also clashed with Biden when the latter said during the campaign that the United States should push Brazil to better protect the Amazon rainforest.
Bolsonaro, who has presided over a surge of deforestation and wildfires in the world's biggest rainforest, fired back that the statement was "disastrous and unnecessary."
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