Analysts have raised concerns that the Brazilian president may be preparing to challenge the validity of the election results.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has said his party will seek an audit of the country’s electronic voting system before the upcoming elections in October.
The move comes as the far-right leader has for months questioned the validity of the country’s voting systems, a campaign that has coincided with his plummeting approval ratings and directly contradicts election officials and experts.
Analysts have warned that the focus on possible fraud, for which Bolsonaro has provided no evidence, may be laying the groundwork to question the election results as former US President Donald Trump did in 2020.
In early election polls, Bolsonaro is currently behind former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
“As the electoral law allows, we will hire a company to do the audit,” Bolsonaro said during a live broadcast on his social media channels on Thursday. “People want transparent elections where votes are actually counted for their candidate.”
Bolsonaro also said in his broadcast that the armed forces, with which he remains closely aligned, have given nine suggestions to Brazil’s electoral court to improve voting systems, but have received no response.
“May the head of the electoral court thank you, take the necessary measures, discuss with the armed forces team so that the elections are held without any suspicion,” he said, adding that the armed forces “will not play the role of gomeran”. stamp the electoral process, or participate as spectators”.
‘Confidence’ in the electoral system
During the broadcast, a Bolsonaro adviser, retired Army General Augusto Heleno, also denied a report that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had urged top Brazilian officials to prevent Bolsonaro from undermining confidence in the voting system.
At a news conference Thursday, US State Department spokesman Ned Price declined to comment on anything CIA Director Bill Burns has said to Bolsonaro or others.
However, he said that “it is important that Brazilians, as they await their elections later this year, have confidence in their electoral systems and that Brazil once again be in a position to demonstrate to the world through these elections the enduring strength of Brazilian democracy. ”.
Leftist Lula, who had high approval ratings during his presidency from 2003 to 2010 but was jailed in a controversial corruption case after leaving office, will formally announce his candidacy on Saturday.