BRAZIL: Electoral authorities dismiss Bolsonaro’s election challenge

BRAZIL’s electoral authorities on Wednesday dismissed a petition by outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro’s coalition to challenge the results of the runoff presidential election in October and fined it 22.9 million reais ($4.3 million) for “bad faith litigation.”

On Tuesday night, Bolsonaro’s Liberal Party (PL) sought to contest the election results, filing a complaint alleging issues with Brazil’s electronic voting machines.

The president of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), Alexandre de Moraes, on Wednesday denied the request to verify the second-round results, finding no proof or indication of any fraud to justify the “reassessment” of some of the votes counted, according to Brazilian news outlet G1.

In his resolution, Moraes said he condemned “the plaintiff for bad-faith litigation” and imposed a 22.9 million reais fine.

Moraes also denounced what he called “ostensibly an attack on the democratic rule of law” from the “encouraging (of) criminal and anti-democratic movements,” noting the obstruction of highways and roads by Bolsonaro supporters amid “serious threats and violence” and “the total absence of any evidence of irregularities and the existence of a totally fraudulent narrative of the facts.”

According to news source Power 360, Bolsonaro’s coalition had been seeking to invalidate 279,000 registered votes.

In Brazil, there was no indication of any election irregularity, while overseas, the results were quickly recognized by various leaders.

A report this month by Brazil’s Defense Ministry found no electoral irregularities in a detailed document provided to electoral authorities.

On Oct. 30, Bolsonaro lost to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who garnered 50.9% of the vote compared to Bolsonaro’s 49.1%, according to Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court.

In the aftermath of Lula’s win, Bolsonaro supporters demonstrated, many blocking highways across the country and pushing for the military to intervene.

Prior to the presidential elections, Bolsonaro had cast doubt over whether he would respect the results of the polls and called into question Brazil’s electronic voting system without providing evidence.

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