The highest electoral authority in Brazil wanted to send a strong message this Wednesday night to President Jair Bolsonaro for relying on unfounded theories to challenge his defeat in the election against Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva through the courts. An appeal in which the far-right leader requested the cancellation of part of the vote was rejected in a judicial decision that called the argument “bad” with a harsh condemnation and a fine of 22 million reais (about four million dollars and euros). Litigation for the trust”. for the party with which he had joined the election. Bolsonaro lost the election by 1.8 points (two million votes) after a campaign in which he did not stop raising the specter of fraud.
The president of the Superior Electoral Court, Alexandre de Moraes, says that Bolsonaro’s Liberal Party acted in bad faith because it “clearly called for democratic governance (…)” with the aim of encouraging criminal and anti-democratic movements. Despite serious threats and violence, highways and roads have been blocked throughout Brazil.
The judges are referring to roadblocks and anti-coup rallies in front of the barracks, with the most hardline Bolsonaro groups protesting the election results they believe the system and powerful hidden forces have usurped the far-right leader . Brazil has been using an electronic voting system for a quarter of a century that has been subject to public scrutiny, and even attacks hackers, and that it has never been affected by fraud. Bolsonaro and his men wanted votes typed in electronic ballot boxes manufactured before 2020 to be nullified because of “signs of serious errors”.
The fine imposed on Valdemar Costa Neto, who chairs Bolsonaro’s party and signed the lawsuit with him, is the highest among similar cases on record. And this means that public funds are withheld for the party until they pay up.
Economic sanction is considered part of an institutional deterrent effort to prevent questioning of election results without solid evidence from becoming part of political strategy in the future. Bolsonaro challenged the results of the second round, in which he lost, but not the first round, when his party won overwhelming power in Congress and in the states.
In Brazil, no one has paid a dime because Bolsonaro’s appeal before the Superior Electoral Tribunal, to be presented on Tuesday, will prosper. Legal experts and political analysts predicted from the first minute that the arguments were not tenable and that the ultimate goal of partially challenging the result was to provide new arguments for alleged fraud in order to energize the dwindling Bolsonaro protests. Camps of hardliners still exist in various cities asking the military to block the path to power for the leftist Lula. He is resting in São Paulo to recover from an operation to remove a lump in his neck.
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The electoral tribunal and its president, along with the Lula-Bolsonaro duo, have been the protagonists of the most polarized elections in Brazil. Persistent questioning by the current president and his allies of the voting system and the massive amount of misinformation circulating through social networks has prompted Judge Moraes to launch an intense offensive to protect the integrity of electronic ballot boxes and counter the news. has prompted. false. In this effort, he has not hesitated to shut down the social networks of influential Bolsonaro politicians to prevent them from spreading conspiracy theories about the election results. Some experts, in any case, maintain that some of the judge’s decisions are excessive and border on censorship.
The transfer of power was supposed to end on 1 January, the ceremony for which Lula took office and began his third term. Brazil is experiencing a state of insanity as voters gave a narrow victory to a broad coalition led by the former president in defense of democracy. On the one hand, there is a reticent and almost mute Bolsonaro who litigates in court, while his most extreme followers try to overturn the result recognized by all the rest of Brazil’s institutions and the international community. and, on the other hand, the daily meetings held by Lula’s transition team in the capital with representatives of the ministries of the Bolsonaro government.
This Thursday polarized Brazil have an opportunity to close wounds, even if only for 90 minutes. From four o’clock in the afternoon, the whole country will literally stop on TV, on their mobile phones, or whatever, to watch the football team debut in the World Cup. It is facing Serbia. Brazil is one of the favorites of the championship. A win would mean breaking his own record and winning a sixth cup.
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