On Friday, Brazilian Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco fiercely denied any suggestion that the 2022 presidential election will be canceled, emphasizing that the constitution will be honored and that the Brazilian people’s aspirations and expectations will be fulfilled.
Pacheco was replying to President Jair Bolsonaro’s comments earlier this week that he might not recognize the election results until the voting system is modified, when he spoke to reporters in the Senate.
Bolsonaro further stated that the vote might not be held at all, claiming that the system is rigged.
“Elections will be held because it is a constitutional need,” Pacheco stated. “We must not rob the Brazilian people of their most fundamental and sovereign right: the freedom to elect their leaders. That’s all there is to it.”
Bolsonaro believes that the voting system, which relies on computers to record votes, is vulnerable to voter fraud, and that only paper ballots should be used. He told supporters in Brasilia on Thursday that the poll would be canceled if it was not “clean.”
“That is my last word on the matter. There will be printed ballots, because if there are no printed ballots, this is a sign that there will be no election. The message is clear.”
Pacheco on Friday rejected any suggestion there has been voter fraud in previous elections or that the current system is vulnerable to fraud.
The Supreme Electoral Court released a statement on Friday, calling Bolsonaro’s remarks “lamentable” and adding that any action taken to prevent the election would be a “dereliction of duty” and a violation of the constitution.
It further stated that “not a single example of fraud has been recorded” since computerized voting machines were first deployed in 1996.
Bolsonaro’s disapproval rating is at an all-time high, according to polls released this week, and voter intentions show him falling farther behind former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is poised to run against him.