- BBC News World
The Higher Electoral Court of Brazil (TSE) has rejected the claim filed by the far-right party of Jair Bolsonaro to annul the results of the last presidential election.
Outgoing President Bolsonaro’s party contested some of the votes on election day in October in which he narrowly lost the presidency to leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
The Liberal Party (PL) requested the Electoral Tribunal to reject the votes of certain machines, which they ensure compromised during the second election round.
But the president of the TSE, Alexandre de Moraes, declared that the PL’s complaint was “an offense against democratic norms” and that it sought to “encourage criminal and anti-democratic movements.”
The court added thatThe lawsuit was filed “in bad faith” and fined the party 22.9 million reais (US$4.3 million)..
Bolsonaro’s game had a better result than expected in the first round. But in the second round, Lula won with 50.9% of the vote against Bolsonaro’s 49.1%, a result validated by the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE).
Despite no evidence being presented, the Liberal Party’s claim backfired up to 280,000 voting machines which were models manufactured before 2020. Bolsonaro has said on previous occasions that Brazil’s electronic voting system is not fraud-proof.
Although Bolsonaro did not concede defeat, he gave the go-ahead for the transition of power. Since losing the election on October 30, he has stayed out of the public eye.
Bolsonaro’s Liberal Party (PL) hired a consulting office that tracked the electronic ballot boxes ahead of 2020 do not generate log files with individual namesso it would be impossible to associate a specific log file with a specific urn.
The log files contain a kind of “biography” of each ballot box, with data on how many times it was turned on, turned off, and at what time the programs were inserted. This file is considered important because it will record any attempt to irregularly access the ballot box.
According to the PL, only the files generated by the ballot boxes produced after 2020 can be considered suitable and if only the votes from these ballot boxes were counted, Bolsonaro would be the winner “with 51.05% of the valid votes, against 48,955 for Lula.” .
However, several experts consulted by BBC Brazil confirmed this the alleged failures pointed out by the PL will not compromise the results.
Researcher Marcos Simplício, professor of Computer Engineering at the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo, said that although the record files of ballot boxes produced before 2020 generate similar names, it will be enough to open them to find the exact information to identify which ballot box belongs.
“Anyone with internet access can do it,” the expert said.
Another expert, Diego de Freitas Aranha, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Aarhus in Denmark, who investigated the voting machines used in Brazil, pointed out that the votes are not in the log files.
“The most important data, which are the votes, are not in the log files. They are in other files. And there was no mention of any alleged irregularity in relation to that data,” the professor explained.
The difficulties of the question
The specialists consulted by the BBC pointed out that there were also errors in the report presented by the PL to request the annulment of the votes.
On the one hand, the report was based on faulty technical assumptions about the safety of ballot boxes and does not offerBA no evidence of fraud which could have favored President-elect Lula.
Diego Aranha emphasized that the supporters’ claim only mentioned irregularities in the results of the second round, but the same machines were used in the first round.
“If the error found by the PL was really serious, the natural thing would be for him to also request the annulment of the first round of votes, and not only the second. This will have to happen because the ballot boxes in dispute, those manufactured before 2020, were also used in the first round,” he said.
Marcos Simplício added that the annulment of the votes in both rounds would not only have consequences for the presidential election, but “for all contested chargesas representatives, senators and state and federal governors”.
Immediately after Lula was declared the winner, numerous Truck drivers supporting Bolsonaro blocked roads and clashed with police. But Bolsonaro later told them that the blockades were not part of “legitimate” protests.
Some of his supporters continued to protest in front of the military barracks, urging the military to intervene to prevent Lula’s takeover.
Bolsonaro’s presidential term will end with Lula’s inauguration on January 1.
Lula, who was president of Brazil between 2003 and 2010, is 77 years old and will become the oldest person to hold the office.
Lula’s victory represented a resounding political comebackconsidering that his candidacy for the 2018 elections was not activated because he was in prison and banned from all public offices.
He was found guilty of taking bribes from a Brazilian construction firm in exchange for facilitating contracts with state oil company Petrobras. His conviction was later overturned.
Bolsonaro, a former army captain, drew much of his support from evangelical Christians and other conservative sectors that advocated protecting family values. However, his government has also seen accelerated deforestation in the Amazon and growing inequality.
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