Bolsonaro Officially Challenges Election Loss

His coalition says most of Brazil's voting machines have a software bug
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 22, 2022 7:24 PM CST
Bolsonaro Officially Challenges Election Loss
A supporter of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro holds a national flag outside a military base on Republic Proclamation Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022.   (AP Photo/Bruna Prado)

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and his right-wing coalition have launched a challenge to his election loss last month, though critics say it's a "senseless" move and bound to fail. Bolsonaro, who allowed the transition process to be put into motion after his loss to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva but never conceded, says votes from more than half of the country's voting machines should be invalidated because of a software bug. A lawyer representing Bolsonaro and his Liberal Party says the move would leave Bolsonaro with 51% of the remaining votes, giving him a second term, the AP reports.

According to a complaint filed with Brazil's electoral authority, machines made before 2020 lacked individual identification numbers in internal logs. The justice leading Brazil's Superior Electoral Court gave Bolsonaro's coalition 24 hours to present its full audit of both rounds of voting last month, reports Reuters. The court has already certified Lula's victory and the leftist former president is due to return to power on Jan. 1. Experts say the bug identified by Bolsonaro's coalition does not affect the results or the credibility of the election. They note that there are other way to identify the voting machines, the AP reports.

Bolsonaro, a former Army captain, has long insisted, without evidence, that the country's voting machines are unreliable, the Guardian reports. Earlier this month, the military dealt Bolsonaro and his supporters a blow when it confirmed that it had found no sign of election fraud. Gleisi Hoffmann, president of Lula's Workers Party, described Tuesday's filing as "chicanery," per Reuters. "No more procrastination, irresponsibility, insults to institutions and democracy," she said on Twitter. The Brazilian Social Democracy Party, the main opposition the last time Lula was in power, called Bolsonaro's move "senseless" and said it would be resisted by the country's institutions and the international community. (More Brazil stories.)

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