| 28 May 2024, Tuesday |

Brazil’s Bolsonaro says he won’t hand over presidency if there is vote fraud

On Thursday, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said he will hand over power to the winner of next year’s presidential election in a free and fair election, but not if there is any fraud.

His words will do little to assuage detractors’ fears that the far-right former army captain will refuse to accept a loss in next year’s election. Former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Bolsonaro’s political rival, is almost expected to meet him. Lula is leading in the polls.

In a weekly speech on social media, Bolsonaro said, “I’ll hand over the presidential sash to whoever wins the race cleanly.” “Not with deception.”

Since his 2018 election victory, Bolsonaro has made baseless allegations of voter fraud in Brazil, which critics say could lay the groundwork to challenge upcoming elections in the same vein as his political idol, former U.S. President Donald Trump.

Bolsonaro backed Trump’s claims of a stolen election last year, which culminated in a deadly Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol building in Washington by Trump supporters.

Bolsonaro has been promoting a bill to replace Brazil’s sophisticated digital voting system with printed ballots in recent months. He claims that printed ballots will be easier to audit and so less likely to be tampered with. There are few specialists who agree, and the bill has yet to garner traction in Congress.

Bolsonaro stated on Thursday that he was “alerting” people about the risk of difficulties if the current computerized method is kept in place.

He stated, “The people will not tolerate it.”

Bolsonaro also stated that his government is in discussions to extend an emergency coronavirus relief package for another two or three months.

  • Reuters