Brazil's Superior Electoral Court (TSE) Friday reached an agreement with the Montevideo-based Parliament of Mercosur (Parlasur) to act as an external observer of the Oct. 2 presidential elections.
The deal provides for representatives of Parlasur to observe compliance with electoral rules, the stages of the electoral process, and impartiality in the organization of the election.
TSE Chief Justice Edson Fachin said the agreement will guarantee Parlasur representatives total independence to visit the voting centers, analyze vote-tallying mechanisms, and meet with authorities and Electoral Justice workers, according to Agencia Brasil.
Opening the doors of the Brazilian Electoral Justice to our foreign partners symbolizes our commitment to the transparency, visibility, integrity, and efficiency of the electoral process. There is no democratic regime without institutions that are accountable and auditable, and this engagement must also reach the international community, the judge was quoted as saying.
Parlasur Speaker Tomás Enrique Bittar Navarro pointed out that Parlasur is an autonomous and independent body that represents the Mercosur population and defends democracy, freedom, and peace in the region.
Navarro said that at the end of the observation work, the entity will make a report to contribute to the Brazilian electoral process, Agencia Brasil also reported.
Among the responsibilities, it is defined [in the agreement] that the TSE will provide the international mission with all the collaboration necessary to fulfill its mandate. The members of the mission will be able to circulate throughout the country and will have free access to all political parties, candidates, TSE employees, and organizations with political purposes, he said.
Other entities were also invited to act as observers of the elections, including the Organization of American States (OAS), the Electoral Network of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), the World Electoral Justice Network, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (Ifes), and the Inter-American Union of Electoral Organizations (Uniore).
Agreements with these organizations are to be signed shortly, it was reported. International observers have been deployed in previous elections in the country. In 2020, an OAS mission participated in municipal elections.
Regarding Brazil's transparency when it comes down to its voting system, President Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly insisted there were a series of suspicious features about the electronic ballot boxes and demanded the TSE include the Armed Forces in the monitoring.
He has even hinted that if there was no transparency there might be problems like those in January of 2021 in the United States. Bolsonaro also accused Fachin of being part of a plot to favor the victory of opposition candidate and former two-time President Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva.
Bolsonaro's running mate, General Walter Souza Braga Netto, is said to have warned that if the audit of the ballot boxes proposed by Bolsonaro is not carried out, there will be no elections.
Federal Supreme Court (STF) Chief Justice Luiz Fux said Friday that the STF remains vigilant and up to its mission of guarding the Constitution, maintaining its supreme vigilance in favor of the holding of the elections in our country.