Bolsonaro challenges election in Brazil he lost to Lula by Reuters
©Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro delivers a press statement at Alvorada Palace on November 1, 2022 in Brasilia, Brazil. REUTERS/Adriano Machado/File Photo
By Ricardo Brito and Carolina Pulice
BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has challenged the election he lost to left-wing rival Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva last month, arguing that votes should be “nullified” by some machines in a complaint that the electoral authorities met with initial skepticism.
Bolsonaro’s claim seems unlikely to go far, as Lula’s victory was ratified by the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) and recognized by Brazil’s leaders and international allies. Still, it could fuel a small but committed protest movement that has so far refused to accept the outcome.
Alexandre de Moraes, the Supreme Court Justice currently presiding over the TSE, said in a Reuters ruling that Bolsonaro’s right-wing electoral coalition that filed the complaint are presenting their full examination for both rounds of voting last month within 24 hours got to. or he would refuse.
The Brazilian currency deepened losses following news of the election lawsuit, finishing 1.3% weaker against the US dollar. The currency was already suffering from investor concerns over Lula’s spending plans and economic policymakers.
Fernando Bergallo, operations director at FB Capital, was among many who said Bolsonaro’s offer to contest the election results was unlikely but that it would add “pessimism on top of everything we already have.”
Gleisi Hoffmann, leader of Lula’s Labor Party (PT), called Bolsonaro’s electoral complaint “harassment”.
“No more procrastination, no more irresponsibility, no more insults to institutions and democracy,” she wrote on Twitter. “The election was decided by vote and Brazil needs peace to build a better future.”
The Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB), a traditional rival of the PT, called Bolsonaro’s complaint “pointless” and tweeted that it was being opposed “by institutions, the international community and Brazilian society.”
Bolsonaro’s coalition said its audit of the Oct. 30 second-round runoff between Bolsonaro and Lula found “signs of an irreparable … malfunction” in some electronic voting machines.
“There have been indications of serious errors that create uncertainty and make it impossible to validate the results obtained on older models of voting machines,” Bolsonaro allies said in their complaint. As a result, they demanded that the votes of these models should be “voided.”
Bolsonaro, a far-right former army captain, has claimed for years that the country’s e-voting system is vulnerable to fraud without providing any hard evidence.
Bolsonaro remained publicly silent for nearly 48 hours after the Oct. 30 election was called and has still not conceded defeat, despite authorizing his government to begin preparations for a presidential change.
One of Brazil’s most visible presences on social media and at public events in the past four years, Bolsonaro has all but disappeared from the public eye over the past three weeks, with little or no formal agenda or public statements most days.