SAO PAULO ( Associated Press) – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro invited dozens of diplomats to the presidential palace on Monday to raise concerns about alleged vulnerabilities in Brazil’s electronic voting system, allegations that election officials have repeatedly dismissed. Have given.
Once again, the right-wing president offered no evidence to support his allegations, which has been criticized by analysts and members of the electoral authority, who fear the president is laying the groundwork for rejecting the election’s results. .
Bolsonaro faces an uphill battle to be re-elected, as all elections have placed him far below former president Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, who ruled the country from 2003 to 2010.
Bolsonaro’s speech to diplomats was broadcast on state television for nearly an hour. At the time, he referred to a federal police report on the alleged hacking of electronic voting machines. Brazil’s electoral authority said in August 2021 that investigators had not disclosed any evidence of fraud to the federal police.
Brazil has used the electronic system in its elections since 1996, and the authorities have never found evidence of large-scale fraud. Bolsonaro has claimed he was denied an undisputed victory in the first round of the 2018 presidential election without going to the second round, and said he had evidence he never presented.
The president has also argued that Brazil’s electoral authority should follow the recommendations of the armed forces on possible reform of the voting system, and reiterated his criticism of federal Supreme Court judges, some of whom are also members of the electoral authority. , saying that they would favor Lula.
“Those who are in favor (Lula and the Workers’ Party) do not want a transparent electoral system,” Bolsonaro told diplomats gathered in the capital Brasilia. “They insist all the time that after the election results are announced, their heads of state need to recognize them.”
Brazil’s Rashtrapati Bhavan did not give information about how many diplomats attended the meeting.
Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco said after Bolsonaro’s meeting that the country’s Congress, “whose members were elected with the current and modern electoral system, is obliged to tell the population that the electronic voting machine will give the nation a credible result.” “
Pacheco was elected to the office with the support of Bolsonaro, but last week he met with Lula in Brasilia.
Activist organization Human Rights Watch said the meeting was further evidence that Bolsonaro “continues his dangerous campaign of disinformation about the electoral system.”
“The international community must make it clear that any attempt to undermine the democratic order and the rule of law is unacceptable,” the body said on Twitter.
In a separate incident, Federal Supreme Court Judge Luiz Edson Fachín, who currently heads Brazil’s electoral authority, told the Paraná State Bar Association that there is “an unacceptable electoral refusal on the part of a public figure.”
Fachin said the man was making “serious allegations of fraud without any evidence.”