Brasilia, Aug 10 (EFE) .- Brazil’s lower house of congress on Tuesday rejected a proposal backed by President Jair Bolsonaro to change the electronic voting system to paper ballots.
The move required 308 votes to pass, but only received 229, with 218 against and one abstention.
Bolsonaro has claimed the electronic system is open to fraud, without providing any evidence, and threatened not to recognize the result of the 2022 presidential election if paper ballots are not adopted.
“The result did not reach a quorum for approval. It will be archived and this matter is closed this year. There is no time or space to start a new discussion,” said the speaker of the chamber, Arthur Lira.
The electronic voting system, praised by international observers, has been operational in Brazil since 1996 and has not been the subject of any doubts.
However, Bolsonaro undertook a fierce campaign against electronic ballots, which he has used to disqualify electoral authorities and cast doubt on the legitimacy of the current method.
The president claimed that the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) does not want to adopt paper ballots in order to favor former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who is the favorite to win next year’s election.
The string of accusations that the head of state has repeated at public events led the TSE to try to stop Bolsonaro’s attacks.
The court opened an administrative process and asked the Supreme Court to criminally investigate him for the dissemination of fake news against democratic institutions and even secret documents of the Federal Police, with which he tried to justify his crusade.
Before the vote on Tuesday, a special commission had already rejected the text, but despite this, Lira wanted to submit it to the analysis of the plenary session to put an “end to” the subject.
There was also controversy when a small and unprecedented military parade in which Bolsonaro participated took place in front of the presidential palace hours before the vote in the lower house.
The opposition, including some conservative leaders, slammed the event, which they interpreted as an attempt at intimidation by the far-right leader. EFE