Brazilian court rejects outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro’s electoral lawsuit

Sao Paulo, Brazil

The head of Brazil’s electoral court on Wednesday rejected Jair Bolsonaro a petition to have ballots canceled in this year’s presidential election, calling the outgoing president’s claim that some voting machines were out of order “ridiculous and illegal” and “allegedly conspiratorial against the democratic rule of law.”

In his ruling, President of the Supreme Electoral Court Alexandre de Moraes stated that all e-ballot models are “excellently identifiable in a clear, secure and consistent manner.” He also ordered Bolsonaro’s right-wing Liberal Party to pay a 22 million reais ($4.1 million) fine for a “bad-faith trial”.

Bolsonaro narrowly lost in the second round of voting last month to his leftist opponent. Luis Inacio Lula da Silvacommonly known as “Lula”, who is due to take office on January 1st.

Since then, Bolsonaro has not openly admitted that he lost, but has previously stated that he will “continue to fulfill all the precepts of the constitution”, leading observers to believe that he will cooperate with the transfer of power.

But in a petition filed on Tuesday, Bolsonaro and the leader of his Liberal Party argued that some voting machines were out of order and any votes cast through them should be annulled.

Citing an analysis by a company hired by Bolsonaro’s party, the complaint argued that removing those votes would give Bolsonaro victory.

The electoral authorities have previously stated that the same voting machines were used in the first round of elections and in the second round of voting.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Liberal Party congressman Valdemar Costa Neto said that Bolsonaro’s party only requested “a second round check, as we understand that it would not be possible to do this in the first round due to the large number of people.” [candidates] affected.”

A hot election last month came amid a tense and polarized political climate in Brazil, which is struggling with high inflation, limited growth and rising poverty.

Lula da Silva received more than 60 million votes – according to the final count of the electoral commission – the most in Brazilian history and broke his own record since 2006.