Brazilian electoral dispute to boiling point: Bolsonaro calls Supreme Court judge 'son of a bitch'

Brazilian electoral dispute to boiling point: Bolsonaro calls Supreme Court judge ‘son of a bitch’

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.AFP photo

Bolsonaro’s statement was broadcast live on Bolsonaro’s Facebook page. The post was later removed, but copies are still being posted on social media.

Without providing any evidence, Bolsonaro has long argued that his country’s electoral system is vulnerable to fraud. It mainly targeted the electronic voting machines used in Brazil to record the vote. According to him, these would make any recount of the count vulnerable to fraud, and thus should be replaced by paper ballot papers. The president previously threatened to cancel the 2022 elections if ballot papers were not allowed and several times called on his supporters to take to the streets to demonstrate.

Bolsonaro has also repeatedly said that fraud was committed in the 2018 elections in which he was elected president. Despite pleas by Barroso, the President of the Electoral Tribunal (TSE), Bolsonaro was unable to provide evidence for these allegations. According to critics, his statements are intended to sow suspicion among the population, so that it will be easier for Bolsonaro not to succumb to a possible defeat in the elections in 2022. He is expected to be re-elected for a second term. Bolsonaro threatened not to accept an outcome unfavorable to him.

‘Corruption and chaos’

Bolsonaro has been targeting Barroso for some time, especially since the head of the TSE’s highest electoral court recently declared after his own investigation that there is no doubt about electoral fraud in the current electoral system. Barroso also said paper ballot papers encourage fraud and vote-selling. On Friday, Bolsonaro said that “the Supreme Court wants the return of corruption and lawlessness,” as well as a serious insult to the judge. “An attack on one of us is an attack on the entire court,” Chief Justice Luiz Foe said Thursday, after which he canceled a meeting with Bolsonaro that had been scheduled for next week.

The Brazilian Congress is currently debating a proposal by Bolsonaro to reintroduce paper ballots. On Thursday, a special parliamentary committee voted against it. House Speaker Arthur Lyra, an ally of the president, now wants to discuss the proposal in plenary. The proposal is also expected to fail in the House of Representatives, where a three-fifths majority is required to amend the constitution.

The highest electoral court is now investigating the president over Bolsonaro’s baseless statements about election fraud. The Supreme Court is investigating the president for allegedly spreading false news.

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