Bolsonaro shakes the specter of fraud: "If I don’t win with 60%, it’s because there’s something strange"

Tuesday, September 20, 2022 | 8:15 a.m.

Less than two weeks before the elections in Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro insinuated this Monday from London not to accept the result of the elections on October 2 in case he does not win with 60% of the votes, in an escalation of more than his threats against the Superior Electoral Tribunal. Meanwhile, the former president and favorite candidate in the polls, Luiz Inácio Lula da SIlva, gathered in São Paulo the support of five former presidential candidates from past elections and stated that his objective is to add with the goal of winning the first round “to defend democracy and rebuild the country”.

Bolsonaro’s official visit to London for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II was in an electoral key, with speeches in the streets of the British capital before dozens of followers and an anger with a journalist when she asked if the tour was actually an act of party politics.

For this reason, the campaign of Lula and the right-wing Union Brazil party denounced before the Superior Electoral Court the use of public money to campaign in London, where Bolsonaro said from the balcony of the residence of the Brazilian ambassador that he will win first. return, which is against abortion and what he called “gender ideology” and described the leader of the Workers’ Party (PT) as a “thief”.

The threat in the style of former US President Donald Trump for October 2 was made while speaking in London with the official television network SBT, as part of a state visit.

“If I have less than 60% of the votes, it is because something abnormal happened in the Superior Electoral Court, taking into account the number of people who go to my events and how I am received everywhere I go,” Bolsonaro said in a 35-minute interview with the air channel, granted irregularly by the military dictatorship to the tycoon and entertainer Silvio Santos.

In this way, the president further fueled the fears of jurists and the opposition that he is seeking a “Capitol effect”, a disregard of the electoral results similar to that of Trump regarding his defeat against President Joe Biden, which unleashed an attack by his supporters to the Congressional building in Washington in January 2021.

From London, Bolsonaro once again questioned the transparency of the electoral process as he has done since 2021, disdaining the polls that give him a second place behind Lula.

The president said that the Datafolha pollster, which gives Lula a chance to win in the first round – with more than half of the votes – “is made to give an air of legality to an injustice that may occur.”

The far-right leader was asked why he thinks he should have 60% of the vote.

“It is the feeling of the streets, one sees the acts of Lula, of the PT…no one goes, and if a few thousand go it is because they are paid, they are taken in buses, they are people who go for money, they are not encouraged with Lula’s election,” he assured.

According to Bolsonaro, this is not the time to talk about possible alliances for the second round.

“The people are with us, we held massive demonstrations and the people recognize the effort that the government made in the face of the pandemic to preserve the economy and that will result in a majority election on October 2. I do not want to talk about second-round alliances because I want win the first round,” said the Liberal Party candidate.

Bolsonaro blocked a street in London in front of the residence of the Brazilian ambassador to make a speech before supporters dressed in green and yellow, during which he told them that he would be re-elected in less than two weeks in the first round.

Brazilian Bolsonarists residing in Great Britain protested to the cry of “Go to Venezuela” before the British who repudiated the Brazilian head of state for his environmental policies and the murder of Dom Phillips, a correspondent for the Guardian newspaper, in the Amazon jungle this year by illegal fishing mafias.

According to the latest Datafolha poll, Lula has 45% of the votes against 33% for Bolsonaro.

If he is not re-elected, Bolsonaro will be the first Brazilian president to fail in his intention to achieve a second term since re-election was installed in 1997 through a constitutional amendment.

The president spent the weekend in London accompanied by his wife, Michelle, and the far-right evangelical pastor Silas Malafaia, who was treated as a minister by the official delegation to participate in the funeral.

Bolsonaro’s advisors recommended that he attend the funeral, especially since the British government is considered an ally of the Brazilian extreme right to show an international profile of his administration, marked by controversies and the abandonment of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry’s agenda.

Bolsonaro will open this Tuesday the general debate of the UN General Assembly in New York and intends to have a series of bilaterals with presidents considered allies such as his counterparts from Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, and from Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso.

Meanwhile, in São Paulo, Lula continued to weave a series of strategic alliances to try to add more than 50% of the votes in the first round of the elections in two Sundays.

Among the former presidential candidates in other elections who supported him was a benchmark for the financial market, the former banker Henrique Meirelles.

At an event in São Paulo, Lula received former presidential candidates Meirelles, Luciana Genro, Guilherme Boulos, Cristovam Buarque, Joao Vicente Goulart and Marina Silva, as well as Geraldo Alckmin, another former electoral rival who is now his running mate.

“This photo symbolizes the reconstruction of Brazil,” Lula said.

One of the most important names on the support table is that of Meirelles, who belongs to the right-wing Union Brazil party, was head of the Central Bank for eight years during the Lula mandates (2003-2010), presidential candidate in 2018 and minister of Economy of former conservative president Michel Temer (2016-2018).

Meirelles was the Secretary of Finance of the São Paulo Government, of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB).

Meirelles, former world president of BankBoston in 2002, defended the economic program of the Lula government and came out making the “L” on the spot, in a message to the financial market, traditionally resistant to the former metallurgical trade unionist.

Boulos, the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL) candidate for president in 2018, said the timing was similar to the campaign for direct elections in 1984, which marked the end of the 21-year military dictatorship.

“Lula’s election is essential for Brazilian democracy, to defeat fascism that threatens freedoms and institutions,” said Boulos, social leader of the Homeless movement and candidate for deputy on October 2, alluding to Bolsonaro.

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