Brazil's Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) has asked the Supreme Federal Tribunal (STF) to launch a probe against President Jair Bolsonaro for his remarks regarding the reliability of the electronic voting system.
The TSE also approved Monday the opening of an administrative inquiry into the President's attacks on the legitimacy of the elections. The inquiry will investigate crimes of corruption, fraud, prohibited conduct, extemporaneous propaganda as well as abuse of political and economic power.
The TSE plenum also agreed unanimously to file a request before the STF that President Jair Bolsonaro be investigated for the alleged spreading of fake news, on the grounds of his constant and yet unsubstantiated attacks on the electronic ballot boxes and to the electoral system.
Bolsonaro has claimed over the past two and a half years that there was fraud in the 2018 elections, but has failed to produce any evidence which would back those allegations.
TSE Chief Justice Luís Roberto Barroso sais that threatening the holding of elections was an undemocratic conduct, while Justice Alexandre de Moraes underscored that democracy was not a game.
Analysts speculate that the actions undertaken by the TSE may render Bolsonaro unable to run in the 2022 elections.
For ineligibility to occur, a judicial conviction is required, which only happens if there is an indictment based on a formal accusation by the Prosecution, which in the case of the President would also require a parliamentary permission to proceed, while the administrative investigation alone could result in fines and challenges to the registration of a new Bolsonaro candidacy.
The President has questioned Barroso and boasted that without a printed vote, there might not be any elections in 2022. The printed vote has already been ruled unconstitutional by the STF.
STF Chief Justice Luiz Fux delivered a speech earlier Monday during which he underscored that the independence between branches of government does not justify impunity for acts against the institutions. Harmony and independence between branches does not imply impunity for acts that exorbit the necessary respect for the institutions.
The Brazilian people would never accept that any crisis, however severe, would be resolved through mechanisms outside the Constitution, he added.