US officials expect Bolsonaro to try (but fail) to disrupt election
A group representing 19 Brazilian organizations traveled to Washington this week to discuss the risks to Brazilian democracy with US officials. The meetings included a 90-minute meeting with US State Department officials, but there was no clear answer on whether the White House would immediately recognize the Oct. 2 election results.
During a recent meeting with ambassadors in Brasilia, President Jair Bolsonaro urged foreign governments not to take the election result at face value, making unsubstantiated claims that the country’s electronic ballot boxes are susceptible to be fraudulent. Recent polls suggest former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is on course to win in the first round.
Organizations visiting Washington believe a quick response from the White House could deter Bolsonaro’s camp from trying to overturn the election, as Mr. Bolsonaro has been threatening for more than a year now.
Sources say The Brazilian report the US government expects Mr Bolsonaro to try to disrupt the election, but they expect him to fail.
“We hear that the U.S. government will remain consistent in its stance of expressing confidence in the electoral system and supporting democratic institutions that have a history of free and fair elections,” Paulo Abrão, director of the Washington Brazil think tank Office (which organized the visit), recounts The Brazilian report.
“In all the meetings, the interlocutors expressed their gratitude for the information received and recognized organized civil society and social movements as the main sources of reliable interpretation of what is happening in Brazil today,” said Mr. Abrão.
The group also met with members of the US Congress, discussing the possibility of Jair Bolsonaro’s supporters staging riots similar to the January 6, 2021 Capitol invasion.
US officials have also expressed concerns about misinformation and political violence in the run-up to the election. Earlier this month, a member of Lula’s Workers’ Party was murdered at his own birthday party by a Bolsonaro supporter. Prosecutors charged him with aggravated politically motivated murder.