Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is greeted by supporters as he returns to Brasilia on Thursday. Photo by Luis Nova/EPA-EFE
March 30 (UPI) -- Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro touched back down in the capital Brasilia on Thursday, after spending nearly three months in the United States.
Bosolnaro, who left Brazil following his election defeat to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in December, traveled to the headquarters of his Liberal Party, where he was to attend a reception.
Military police were placed on alert as supporters gathered around the airport and the party headquarters, despite Bolsonaro requesting that they stay away.
He did not make any comments upon his arrival and was expected to travel to his home in Brasilia, where his wife, Michelle, remained while he was in the United States.
Bolsonaro had announced intentions to lead opposition to Lula's administration, but he cast some doubt on those ambitions as he spoke to reporters from CNN Brazil before departing from an airport in Orlando, Fla.
"You don't have to oppose this government. This government is an opposition in itself," Bolsonaro said, adding he would assist the party "as an experienced person" and work along with "whatever they wish."
Authorities are conducting at least 20 investigations into Bolsonaro, six of which are for alleged criminal offenses. The allegations range from spreading false claims about the country's electoral system to whether he incited the Jan. 8 storming of the Presidential Palace, Supreme Court and Congress by his supporters.
Bolsonaro condemned the Brasilia attacks but did encourage post-election demonstrations immediately after losing the Oct. 30 election when he mounted a legal challenge alleging voting machine irregularities.
The case was thrown out by the Superior Electoral Tribunal in November, dismissing the challenge as a pretext calculated to fuel pro-Bolsonaro protests.
Bolsonaro in January attempted to apply for a six-month visa to remain in the United States. However, Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, and other U.S. lawmakers urged President Joe Biden to revoke a visa for diplomats and heads of state that he used to enter the country.