Crime & Justice

Brazil court rejects Bolsonaro election challenge, fines allies

Brasilia, Nov 23 (EFE).- Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court on Wednesday rejected a complaint filed by outgoing president Jair Bolsonaro’s party challenging the results of last month’s presidential election, which he narrowly lost.

Leftist former leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva won the runoff on Oct. 30 and is due to be inaugurated on Jan. 1.

The head of the electoral court, Alexandre de Moraes, also fined the parties in Bolsonaro’s coalition 22.9 million reais ($4.3 million) for bad faith litigation, according to a court document.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday by Bolsonaro’s Liberal Party argued votes from some of the electronic ballot boxes used in the Oct. 30 runoff should be invalidated. This would have overturned the election result.

The court responded that it could only analyze the matter if doubts were also raised in relation to the electronic ballot boxes during the first round, since the same devices were used in both cases.

In that first round, legislative elections were also held, with the Liberal Party obtaining 99 deputies, which will give it a first minority in the lower house from next year.

On Wednesday, the party admitted that in the first round it did not find problems at the polls, but reiterated that it did in the second round and insisted on a verification of the votes that gave the presidency to Lula.

According to de Moraes, the petition did not justify the reassessment of some of the ballot boxes.

“The complete bad faith of the plaintiff’s bizarre and illicit request … was proven, both by the refusal to add to the initial petition and the total absence of any evidence of irregularities and the existence of a totally fraudulent narrative of the facts,” the magistrate, who is also a Supreme Court judge, wrote in his decision.

In the second round, Lula prevailed with 50.9 percent of the votes, compared to 49.1 percent obtained by Bolsonaro, in a process endorsed and recognized by all the national and international observer missions that participated.

The Liberal Party has announced that it has engaged its legal advisers to analyze the court’s Wednesday decision. EFE


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