Brasília (AP) – Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies has rejected an electoral reform advocated by right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro.
Instead of the required minimum of 308 yes votes, Bolsonaro’s allies received only 229 votes. 218 MPs voted against and there was an abstention, according to a message from the chamber Tuesday evening (local time).
A constitutional amendment, according to which the electronic voting machines must also be supplemented with printed ballots, thus failed. Hours earlier, a military convoy carrying dozens of vehicles had driven past the presidential palace and congress, among other things – what observers interpreted as an attempt to intimidate the government in view of the imminent defeat in the vote.
The electoral system in Brazil – the most populous country in Latin America with 210 million inhabitants – is fully electronic. Since the 2018 presidential election, Bolsonaro has repeatedly cast doubt on the reliability of the electoral system.
Bolsonaro warns Trump style
Like former US President Donald Trump, he warns against possible manipulation without any evidence. Bolsonaro demands that the vote be recorded on a printout as well, otherwise he may not recognize the results of the 2022 presidential election. According to political analysts, his action is trying to mobilize his supporters in the face of the bad polls.
According to the Navy, the convoy had been planned for a long time. According to media reports, Bolsonaro, captain of the reserve, received an invitation to a military exercise.
German political scientist and military expert Kai Michael Kenkel of the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC) told the German news agency that from his point of view it was an attempt to demonstrate power. “The only question is: did Bolsonaro’s order come or not?” There have been no such convoys in previous years. “And all these vehicles had already arrived at the training site – and were driving back to Brasília.”
The approval of Bolsonaro’s administration has steadily declined over the course of the coronavirus pandemic. In early July, 51 percent of those polled rejected the president’s policies in a poll by polling station datafolha. That was the worst result since Bolsonaro took office in 2019.
Bolsonaro targeted by the Supreme Court
“We were right to express our deep confidence in the ability of the Brazilian institutions to conduct free and fair elections with adequate safeguards to protect against fraud,” said Juan Gonzalez, national security adviser for the Western Hemisphere, after visiting Brasília on Monday. Monday to journalists.
“And we stressed the importance of not undermining confidence in this process, especially since there was no evidence of fraud in previous elections.” Following the repeated attacks, Brazil’s Supreme Court recently targeted Bolsonaro and included it in the ongoing investigation into the spread of fake news.