Brazil’s Bolsonaro contests election results, alleges voting machines had ‘signs of serious failures’

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has challenged the result of the election he lost last month to leftist opponent Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, alleging that ballots from some polling machines should be “invalidated.”

According to Bolsonaro’s alliance, certain electronic voting equipment used in the second-round runoff between Bolsonaro and Lula on October 30 showed “signs of irreparable… malfunction.”

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They claim that older models of the voting machines showed “signs of serious failures that generate uncertainties and make it impossible to validate the results generated”. As a result, they argued that the votes cast by those models should be “invalidated.”

Despite allowing his cabinet to start making plans for a presidential transition, Bolsonaro hasn’t acknowledged the election loss publically.

Given that the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) has confirmed Lula’s victory and that it has been accepted by influential Brazilian politicians and foreign allies, Bolsonaro’s claim is unlikely to succeed. However, as per the report, it could bolster a modest but persistent protest movement that has thus far refrained from accepting the vote.

In a decision seen by Reuters, Alexandre de Moraes, the Supreme Court justice who presently chairs the TSE, stated that Bolsonaro’s right-wing electoral coalition, must present its full audit for both rounds of last month’s election within 24 hours or he will reject it.

The head of operations at FB Capital, Fernando Bergallo, as per Reuters has predicted that Bolsonaro’s attempt to overturn the election results would fail but would add “pessimism on top of everything we already have.”

Bolsonaro has for years claimed that the country’s electronic voting system is susceptible to fraud. However, he is yet to provide any evidence substantiating his claims.

(With inputs from agencies)

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