Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has stated that he will refuse to leave power if he loses next year’s presidential election to ‘fraud’. The far-right leader is now attacking the integrity of the country’s electronic voting system, the same system through which he was elected in 2018.
In a press conference today, he declared, “I am giving advance warning to the judges of the Supreme Court. I will give the presidential sash to whoever beats me at the polls fairly, but not with fraud.”
He added; “I am not going to allow a fraudulent voting system at these elections…We cannot face the elections next year with this system, it is not accepted anywhere in the world.”
The electronic voting system in question granted Bolsonaro a second-round victory of 55.13% in 2018. A result that was accepted by his opponent Fernando Haddad of the Workers’ Party (PT).
Nevertheless, Bolsonaro has opted for the strategy pursued by Keiko Fujimori in Peru, Carlos Mesa in Bolivia, and Donald Trump in the United States, which has been to make unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud in an attempt to annul their defeat at the ballot box.
The incumbent Bolsonaro will almost certainly face off against PT candidate and former President, Lula Da Silva who is racing ahead in all polls.
The most recent survey carried out by Brazil’s Instituto IPEC shows Lula receiving 49% of support, more than doubling Bolsonaro’s 23%. As the President’s defeat becomes inevitable, crying fraud has become one of the few remaining maneuvers to try to stop the left from returning to power.