Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro Thursday insisted on the questionable reliability of the country's electronic voting system and announced that his Liberal Party would retain the services of a company to monitor the October elections, as allowed “in the electoral legislation.”
Bolsonaro conveyed the news Thursday through his traditional Facebook broadcast. He also explained that it was a company that works all over the world on these issues and explained that this audit will not be done after the elections, but before the elections.
The President has been raising concerns over the reliability of the electronic ballot box, which has been used since 1996, and asking for printed ballots to be used so that votes can be counted manually.
Bolsonaro is at odds over this matter with the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) and is under investigation by the Supreme Federal Court (STF) for spreading false news. He has also maintained that for him there were three possible outcomes to the Oct. 2 elections: prison, death or victory.
The company is going to ask the court for a lot of information, it will also ask the Armed Forces for what was done so far; it may happen, I'm not saying it will happen, it may happen, I repeat, that given the existing documentation for us to have elections free of suspicion, it will be impossible to audit the process, look at what point we are going to reach, said the president.
Polls have revealed for more than a year that Bolsonaro would be defeated in the October elections by former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. ”Given that the polls say that Mr. Lula has 40% (in voting intention), Lula will win. So I want to guarantee Lula's election with this process here, Bolsonaro joked.
In this scenario, the TSE has canceled an invitation for the European Union to send observers to the October elections, after the government of President Jair Bolsonaro opposed the measure. The TSE had reportedly invited the EU for the first time to send some observing delegates. But the Foreign Ministry criticized the invitation, saying Brazil has never had its elections evaluated by an international organization of which it is not a member.
In the meantime, the latest polls showed Bolsonaro continues to narrow the gap between him and Lula, which now stands at less than five points, 40 to 35.2%, according to Paraná Pesquisas. In mid-December, DataFolha placed him with 22% against Lula's 48%.
Bolsonaro has also said that since the Armed Forces were invited to the electoral transparency commission they will not be spectators” of the process. Bolsonaro, a former Army captain, has even suggested that the military should conduct its own vote recount parallel to the court.