Ahead of Brazil’s closely watched presidential election runoff, videos showed congresswoman Carla Zambelli, an ardent supporter of nationalist President Jair Bolsonaro, pulling a gun on the streets of São Paulo after a confrontation with a man.
Zambelli was seen walking across the street in the Jardins neighborhood and entering a restaurant to confront someone she had been chasing Saturday.
The Brazilian TV news network Globo reported that Zambelli had gotten into an argument with a man who was shouting at her in support of Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva, the leftist former president challenging Bolsonaro in Sunday’s election.
Videos show a crowd forming before the man walks away and Zambelli and a security guard chase after him. Zambelli then confronted the man in the restaurant.
While Brazil’s electoral court banned carrying most private guns during the weekend of the election, Zambelli told reporters she deliberately ignored the order, calling it “illegal,” according to The Brazilian Report.
Brazil has been on high alert for threats of political violence and protests ahead of the election. Bolsonaro has repeatedly sown doubt about the integrity of the electoral system, without evidence, and set the stage to reject the results if he loses.
Tensions were heightened as voting got underway Sunday; a series of roadblocks by Brazil’s highway police in the country’s northeast — a stronghold for Lula — led to allegations of voter suppression, as buses carrying voters were delayed.
Polls have closed and results in the tight runoff are expected to be announced at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday.