Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s party on Tuesday asked the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE) to cancel the votes from more than 280,000 electronic ballot boxes, arguing that “malfunctions” would have prevented his re-election against Lula. “We ask for the invalidation of the votes from the electronic ballot boxes for which insurmountable malfunctions have been brought to light, and to draw the legal consequences for the results of the second round”, on October 30, can we read in the complaint tabled by the Liberal Party (PL).
“The transparency of the electoral process” in question
This formation, which obtained the largest number of deputies and senators at the end of the legislative elections, considers that the “malfunctioning” of five models of ballot boxes “calls into question the transparency of the electoral process”. The PL argues that these dysfunctions were demonstrated in an audit report commissioned by the party.
According to the PL lawyer, more than 280,000 electronic ballot boxes used during the ballot would be of one of these five models in question. According to the PL count, the cancellation of the votes from these ballot boxes would give victory to Jair Bolsonaro with 51.05% of the vote, practically the opposite of the official result (50.9% for Lula, 49.1% for the outgoing president).
An impact on the legislative
TSE President Alexandre de Moraes responded to the complaint by explaining that these model ballot boxes were used not only in the second round, but also in the first, on October 2. He therefore asks that the complaint “concerns both towers”, on pain of being dismissed without being analyzed.
But a cancellation of part of the votes obtained on October 2 would also have an impact on the legislative elections, which took place the same day, on the same ballot boxes. This could jeopardize the election of many PL parliamentarians.
Jair Bolsonaro has practically disappeared from public life for more than three weeks, after the announcement of his defeat against the left-wing ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (2003-2010). He only came out of his silence two days later, without explicitly acknowledging his defeat, and evoking the “feeling of injustice” of his supporters who were demonstrating in front of barracks to demand military intervention.