Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and his running mate in the 2022 elections General Walter Braga Neto were found guilty Tuesday by the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) of using the Sept. 7 Independence Day celebrations for political gain, Agencia Brasil reported.
The Superior Electoral Court (TSE) sentenced former President Jair Bolsonaro and General Braga Netto to ineligibility for eight years for the electoral use of the September 7, 2022 celebrations. It was Bolsonaro's second disenfranchisement and will not be counted twice. Hence, he is barred from running for office until 2030.
In his first conviction, the former president was sentenced by the TSE for abuse of political power and misuse of the media for the meeting he held with ambassadors in July last year at the Alvorada Palace to attack the electronic voting system.
With Tuesday's decision, Braga Netto will not be able to take part in the next elections. The general was Bolsonaro's vice-presidential candidate in last year's elections and also took part in events and rallies.
The TSE's decision also fines Bolsonaro and Braga Netto R$ 425,000 (US$ 84,360.5) and R$ 212,000 (US$ 42081) respectively for using the structure of the Bicentenary of Independence event to promote their candidacy.
By 5 votes to 2, the position of the rapporteur, Justice Benedito Gonçalves, prevailed in the vote, condemning Bolsonaro and Braga Netto for abuse of political and economic power in the elections. In his vote at the October 24 session, Gonçalves cited the irregularities that Bolsonaro committed on Sept. 7 in Brasília and Rio de Janeiro.
Among the accusations, the magistrate mentioned Bolsonaro's interview with TV Brasil, wearing the presidential sash, before the start of the parade in Brasília and the government's authorization for tractors belonging to farmers who supported the former president to take part in the military parade. Gonçalves also cited the participation of businessman Luciano Hang, a well-known Bolsonaro supporter, on the official stage.
In Rio de Janeiro, according to the rapporteur, the irregularities occurred when Bolsonaro traveled on the presidential plane to take part in another rally, parallel to the civic-military event, and the unprecedented transfer of the military parade from the city center to the Copacabana beachfront, a place that was characterized by the presence of Bolsonaro supporters during the election campaign.
Justices Floriano de Azevedo Marques, André Ramos Tavares, Cármen Lúcia, and Alexandre de Moraes also voted for the convictions. Justices Raul Araújo and Nunes Marques voted to reject the charges.
Bolsonaro's defense team had argued that the former president did not use the Sept. 7 celebrations for his candidacy.
(Source: Agencia Brasil)