‘Same as Trump’: Bolsonaro makes claims of preventive electoral fraud in Brazil
In a move that opposition lawmakers called a preemptive attempt to ape former US President Donald Trump’s failed efforts to overturn the 2020 election results with baseless allegations of improprieties in the voting infrastructure, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Thursday he would not cede power after next year’s presidential contest if there is “fraud”.
“Exhausted, cornered and lost, the genocidaire reaffirmed that the election will be stolen if he does not have a printed ballot.
-Sen. Humberto Costa
“I will hand over the presidential scarf to whoever wins the election properly,” Bolsonaro – who is often referred to as the “Trump of the Tropics” –mentionned in his weekly address on social networks. “Not with fraud.”
“Let’s move on to verifiable voting,” the president said, referring to his wish to switch from computer voting to paper ballots. Bolsonaro has made numerous false claims that e-voting is susceptible to tampering and that he would have won the 2018 election in the first round without the fraud.
“We’re going to have a seizure in Brazil,” Bolsonaro said. “We are going to have a very serious problem in Brazil. I am doing everything to warn you in advance, in order to avoid this. I am presenting a way in which we will not have to be wary of the final results of the elections.”
Bolsonaro has also targeted his main rival in 2022, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, claiming without evidence that the Workers’ Party (PT) candidate owes his eligibility for next year’s election to fraud.
“They took the thief out of prison,” Bolsonaro said, referring to da Silva’s release from prison in 2019 following a decision by the Brazilian Supreme Court that his incarceration for his role in the Car wash corruption scandal was illegal.
Da Silva had served 580 days of a sentence of more than 12 years. The Supreme Court overturned several of the former president’s convictions earlier this year, restoring his political rights and opening the door to his attempt to overthrow the increasingly unpopular Bolsonaro.
“They made the thief eligible, in my opinion, to be president, yes, but fraudulently,” Bolsonaro said.
Critics accused Bolosnaro of imitating Trump’s claims of a “stolen election” – that the Brazilian leader embraced and amplified.
“Bolsonaro’s attempt to demand a printed vote is that of someone who is afraid of losing the election. He is also trying to manipulate public opinion with false accusations of electoral fraud, as Trump has done to the States. -United “, he added. mentionned Federal Deputy José Guimarães (PT-Ceará). “We can no longer tolerate setbacks in Brazilian democracy!”
Federal Deputy and National President of PT Gleisi Hoffmann (Paraná) tweeted that Bolsonaro wants to prepare his supporters for false allegations of fraud and start a riot “like Trump”.
Senator Humberto Costa (PT-Pernambuco) tweeted: “Exhausted, cornered and lost, the genocidaire reaffirmed that the election will be stolen if he does not have a printed ballot. No more smoke screens, Bolsonaro! At work ! Go answer your government’s corruption scandals.
Others said Bolsonaro’s derogatory remarks about da Silva reflected his position in the polls. According to An EXAME / IDEIA survey conducted June 22-24, da Silva beats the current president by five percentage points among likely 2022 voters in a hypothetical second-round clash.
Bolsonaro is beset by multiple calamities, including mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic – which has left more than 500,000 dead in Brazil – the resignation or dismissal of numerous government ministers and military leaders, various environmental crises and a progressive consensus is emerging for his removal.
Brazilian lawmakers and civil society groups representing the entire political spectrum earlier this week deposit a “super-demand” to impeach Bolsonaro, merging 123 previous petitions to remove the president from office on the basis of 23 alleged crimes.
During a demonstration in the capital Brasilia earlier this week, Federal MP Perpétua Almeida (Communist Party of Brazil-Acre) renewed his call for the dismissal of Bolsonaro.
“It wasn’t the government that encouraged people to go out without a mask, or that said the vaccine could turn you into an alligator. It was all the president, and it’s his responsibility.”
—Pedro Hallal, professor
“Five hundred thousand dead,” Almeida said, referring to the death toll from Covid-19 in the country. “Solidarity and mourning have united several political forces for a common goal: to prevent the Bolsonaro government from killing.”
“Lives could have been saved. The parliamentary inquiry has shown that if the vaccine had been purchased, more than 200,000 Brazilians could have been saved,” she added.
The Bolsonaro administration has been criticized for intentionally blocking coronavirus vaccine deals with Pfizer, as well as allegedly conditioned the purchase of other stocks of vaccine against bribes.
Earlier this week, the first study examining the scale of the Covid-19 disaster in Brazil has been published. He concluded that 400,000 lives could have been saved if the Bolsonaro administration had implemented stricter social distancing rules and started vaccinating people sooner.
Pedro Hallal, professor at the Federal University of Pelotas, Told The Guardian that a better administration response would have avoided 80% of deaths from the pandemic in Brazil, and that Bolsonaro is primarily responsible for the staggering death toll in the country.
“It wasn’t the federal government that called the pandemic a ‘little flu’,” Hallal said. “It wasn’t the government that encouraged people to go out without a mask, or that said the vaccine could turn you into an alligator. It was all the president, and it’s his responsibility.”