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Brazil Electoral Court Rejects Bolsonaro Challenge, Fines Party

Brazil’s top electoral commission on Wednesday dismissed a party challenge to President Bolsonaro’s election defeat and fined him more than $4 million for filing a lawsuit “in bad faith.”

High Electoral Court (TSE) Judge Alexandre Demorayes ruled that the far-right Liberal Party made “absolutely false” claims in the case, which it aimed to “encourage criminal and anti-democratic movements”. said there was By Bolsonaro supporters trying to fight the election results.

The Liberal Party (PL) said the nearly 280,000 electronic voting machines used in the Oct. 30 run-off election, in which Bolsonaro lost to veteran leftist Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, were controlled by an audit firm hired by the Liberal Party. filed the lawsuit on Tuesday, saying it found an “irreversible operational discrepancy.”

The PL called on election officials to filter out all ballots cast by five models of voting machines manufactured before 2020, claiming they gave Lula a questionably large advantage of nearly 5 percent. .

Party lawyer Marcelo Bessa said excluding those votes would change the outcome of the election, going from a 1.8 percentage point victory for Lula to a 2.1 percentage point victory for Bolsonaro.

Moraes says he is trying to foment ongoing protests by Bolsonaro supporters who have blocked highways, congregated outside military barracks and called for military intervention to keep the incumbents in power. blamed PL.

“There is absolutely no evidence to support PL’s claims,” ​​Moraes said in a statement.

The incident was “blatantly offensive to the democratic rule of law and was recklessly brought in with the aim of fostering criminal and anti-democratic movements…responsible for serious intimidation and violence,” he said. added.

He fined PL’s coalition government 22.9 million reais ($4.2 million) and ordered an investigation into party leader Valdemar da Costa Neto and the head of the legal voting institute, the company behind the audit. rice field.

Bolsonaro has regularly claimed that Brazil’s voting system is plagued by fraud and has remained silent for nearly 48 hours after the defeat without providing any evidence.

He then issued a brief statement that he respected the Constitution, but did not explicitly admit defeat or congratulate Lula, who is scheduled to take office on January 1.


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