March 6, 2019 / 4:25 PM / 17 days ago

President Bolsonaro shocks Brazil with 'golden shower' tweet

RIO DE JANEIRO, March 6 (Reuters) - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has sparked shock and outrage by tweeting a video showing one man urinating on another during his country’s massive annual street carnival.

“What is a golden shower?” Bolsonaro tweeted on Wednesday, a day after posting the video in which a barely dressed party-goer writhes atop a bus shelter, plays with his behind, and then bends over before another man urinates on his head.

“I do not feel comfortable showing this, but ... this is what many of the street parties in Brazil’s carnival have turned into,” Bolsonaro tweeted.

A former army captain, Bolsonaro came to power in 2018 at the head of a right-wing government after years of stirring controversy with homophobic, misogynistic and racist comments.

It remains to be seen whether he will face consequences over the posts. Leftist lawmaker Paulo Teixeira said on Twitter he would ask prosecutors to investigate whether Bolsonaro had broken privacy laws.

Twitter said in a statement that any violations of its content rules were “subject to appropriate measures” but declined to say whether the post constituted a violation.

Critics said Bolsonaro’s tweets showed he was more focused on riling his progressive critics than building consensus in Congress for necessary reforms, such as an overhaul of the country’s budget-busting pension system.

The president’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Local media said the video was filmed at a street party, or bloco, in Sao Paulo.

Brazil’s most famous carnival celebrations take place in Rio de Janeiro, where Bolsonaro was a federal congressman for nearly three decades.

This year’s carnival has become increasingly politicized in the wake of Bolsonaro’s election and the 2018 murder of Rio councilwoman Marielle Franco, a gay and black rights activist whose 2018 murder remains unsolved. (Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter Additional reporting by Alberto Alerigi, Lais Martins and Eduardo Simoes Editing by Howard Goller)

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