Several Brazilian NGOs met on Tuesday with the State Department and members of the US Congress to demand that they quickly recognize the winner of the October presidential election, Fearing “threats” from President Jair Bolsonaro, who questions the electoral system.
“International interest is critical at this time,” said Paulo Abrau, executive director of the Washington Brazil Bureau (WBO), the think tank that organized the trip.
In a statement, delegates from 19 organizations urged Joe Biden’s government to do so “Recognize the outcome of the ‘election immediately’ as soon as the electoral court publishes the number of votes, regardless of the winner.”
“Protecting the integrity of the Brazilian electoral system and electoral process is urgent and vital to the survival of democracy,” said Flávia Pellegrino, of the Democracy Charter, calling Bolsonaro an “authoritarian ruler.”
“It is not just bravado or guesswork. We are facing a continuous process of coup d’état in Brazil. We want to recognize and respect the election results. Whoever wins.”he added.
Bolsonaro recently accused electoral authorities of not wanting transparency in elections and questioned without evidence the alleged weakness of electronic ballot boxes.
We want to correct mistakes, we want transparency, true democracy. I am accused of coup all the time (…) I am interrogated before because we have time to solve the problem with the participation of the armed forces.”
The NGO entourage includes representatives of Afro-descendant communities, environmentalists and human rights defenders, and LGTBIAQ+ groups, who complain of “increasing persecution” against them and fear that it will “make worse if the October elections” are not held freely and without Barriers “.
Renato Morgado, director of programs at Transparency International in Brazil, told AFP that the meeting with the foreign ministry, which lasted for an hour and a half behind closed doors, shows Washington’s “concern” over the state of democracy in Brazil.
The State Department confirmed the meeting, saying that US diplomats meet regularly with members of civil society from around the world.
““Brazil has a proven track record of free and fair elections, transparency and high levels of voter participation,” a spokesman for the Brazilian Foreign Ministry said.
“We are confident that the 2022 elections in Brazil will reflect the will of the voters,” he added, implicitly rejecting the allegations of fraud made by Bolsonaro.
The far-right Brazilian president follows former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a left-wing icon who has been jailed on a controversial corruption charge, in opinion polls.
Bolsonaro was an ally and admirer of former US President Donald Trump, and estimates that something similar to the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021 could happen in Brazil.
“Bolsonaro is a complete disaster”: Marta Suplici, former mayor of Sao Paulo
Marta Sublici, former mayor of São Paulo and former Minister of Culture and Tourism, spoke exclusively to Semana about her views on the elections in Brazil and the competition between the current president, Jair Bolsonaro, and his rival, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. He is currently the favorite to return to the position of maximum president for the Brazilians.
Semana: Two months before the elections in Brazil, what do you think of Jair Bolsonaro’s legacy?
Marta Suplicy (MS): The Institute for Social and Economic Studies (Inesc), a proper non-governmental, non-partisan organization operating in our country that monitors public accounts, has measured this “legacy”, so to speak.
Unfortunately, the poll result, whose data was released in April, is very negative for Brazilians. In just 3 years, Bolsonaro has made a real dismantling of public policies, affecting education, housing and health even more seriously. Especially the protection of the Amazon rainforest.
Semana: How do you see Luis Inacio Lula da Silva’s options to defeat President Bolsonaro?
Michael: The feud will be over. Previous opinion polls indicated a greater lead for former President Lula at the start of the year. And now, with just over 70 days left before the October 2 (first round) election, even though people are discussing it more, Bolsonaro’s narratives remain appealing to the conservative voter. It is important to make a realistic campaign, focusing on the differences between the two. Had it not been for a statesman, Bolsonaro would be a complete disaster, as we see from his disastrous “legacy”.
*With information from AFP.
“Coffee fanatic. Gamer. Award-winning zombie lover. Student. Hardcore internet advocate. Twitter guru. Subtly charming bacon nerd. Thinker.”