A senior judge said the president’s “bizarre” election claims were based on a “fraudulent narrative” about faulty voting machines.
Brazil’s electoral court has rejected a request by President Jair Bolsonaro to annul the results of October’s presidential race, saying the outgoing leader had contested the election in “mala fe” while slapping his Liberal Party coalition with a substantial fine.
Alexandre de Moraes, a Supreme Court judge and head of the Superior Electoral Tribunal, ruled against Bolsonaro on Wednesday after the president asked authorities to invalidate thousands of votes, alleging that some electronic voting machines were exposed to fraud during the elections last month.
While the court initially said it would review Bolsonaro’s allegations if he and his Liberal Party provided a fuller audit of the votes, noting that the Liberals performed well in the first round of elections despite the same machines being used voting, de Moraes said he had failed to do so.
“The complete bad faith of the plaintiff’s strange and illegal request was proven…, both by the refusal to expand the initial request and by the total absence of evidence of irregularities and the existence of a totally fraudulent narrative of the facts,” the judge wrote in his ruling.
De Moraes also ordered a suspension of all government funding to the Liberal faction until he pays a fine of 23 million reais ($4.3 million) for his “mala fe” he claims, and called for the leader of the Liberal Party, Valdemar Costa, to be investigated.
Lawyers working with Bolsonaro filed a 33-page petition Tuesday claiming that most of the voting machines used in the race were subject to a “Malfunction,” and that hundreds of thousands of older machines were missing identification numbers in their internal records. However, in overturning his request, de Moraes said the lawyers did not explain how the software bug could have affected the election results.
Bolsonaro narrowly lost the runoff on October 30 to former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a left-wing politician known to many Brazilians simply as ‘Lula’, with 49.1% of the vote to 50.9% of the majority. Lula. The race sparked days of chaotic protests across Brazil, with protesters erecting barricades on several major highways and even demanding a military takeover of the government at one point. Bolsonaro later urged his supporters to cease such actions, though large protests have continued in some cities.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.