Bolsonaro says he will accept the result of a “clean” election in Brazil

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The statements of the Brazilian president do not finish dispelling the doubts that hover over his reaction to a potential defeat in the elections on October 2. For now, the polls give leftist candidate and former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva a relatively comfortable lead.

“Whatever the result, with clean and transparent elections, the results have to be respected,” President Jair Bolsonaro said on the night of August 22 in a televised interview on the ‘Globo’ channel. The phrase seems like a declaration of intentions to obey the mandate of the polls, but it has a catch.

“Clean and transparent elections” is, according to the far-right president, subject to interpretation. Bolsonaro has been attacking the Brazilian digital voting system, implemented in 1996, for months, with no more evidence than his own words.

In addition, the president, who was a captain in the Army and who has shown sympathy for the military dictatorship that was imposed in the country between 1964 and 1985, has affirmed several times that the armed forces should bear some kind of responsibility in deciding whether the elections were clean or not.

The presidential elections are held on October 2 and pit the current president against Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, former president of Brazil’s Workers’ Party (2003-2011). A month and a half before the vote, the polls place the leftist with a significant advantage of about fifteen percentage points over Bolsonaro.

A new assault on the Capitol?

One of the main fears that weighs on the next elections is that this October 2 in Brazil will become the new January 6, 2021. Inspired by who was his counterpart and ally Donald Trump, could Bolsonaro denounce fraud in the Brazilian elections? ?

Regardless of what happens on the date of the voting, the president has already instigated his followers to “go to war if necessary”, as he said in a speech two months ago.

The tensions with the president of the Superior Electoral Court, Alexandre de Moraes, do not help. De Moraes, who recently took office, has been one of the leaders of the investigations implicating the president and his close circle for spreading false news.

This particular investigation focuses on the fact that the president spread information suggesting that people vaccinated against Covid-19 developed AIDS. Bolsonaro is also facing investigations for his handling of the pandemic in Brazilian legislative bodies.

However, it seems that the relationship between the electoral chief and Bolsonaro has reached at least a truce. De Moraes promised to introduce some changes in the electoral system to reassure Bolsonaro’s military allies, while the president said he trusted the magistrate to “meet the objective” of clean elections.

“No actor supports a coup”

For the most fearful, Brazil’s dictatorial past could be knocking on the door again. Nevertheless, In an interview with The New York Times‘, the judge of the Federal Supreme Court, Luis Roberto Barroso, made a point about the 1964 coup: “The middle class supported it. The businessmen supported it. The press supported it. And the United States supported it.”

In contrast, at the current juncture, “none of these actors supports a coup.” The newspaper interviewed more than 35 officials and experts in the field of justice and came to a similar conclusion.

However, there are many ways to decimate democracy beyond a coup: a fifth of the country does not trust the electoral system.

With EFE, Reuters and local media

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