Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro threatens legal trouble as the investigation into the spread of fake news has been extended to the head of state.
Brasília (AP) – After repeated attacks on Brazil’s electoral system, the country’s supreme court has targeted President Jair Bolsonaro.
According to Judge Alexandre de Moraes, Bolsonaro clearly wants to disrupt, complicate or thwart the election process, according to a statement from the court in Brasília. The ongoing investigations into the dissemination of fake news were therefore extended to the head of state. The Supreme Court followed a request from the Supreme Court.
The electoral system in Brazil, the most populous country in Latin America with 210 million inhabitants, is fully electronic. Bolsonaro sows doubts about the reliability of the electoral system through social media, among other things, since the 2018 presidential election and most recently during demonstrations by his supporters on Sunday. 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.
The president is already facing two other Supreme Court investigations over allegations of political influence over the federal police and suspicion of corruption in India’s vaccine deal. Judge Moraes lists 11 offenses he could have committed.
On Wednesday, in Ciro Nogueira, Bolsonaro appointed a politician from the “Centrão” – a collection of small and very small parties that trade offices and posts for support – as chief of staff. The right-wing populist needs, among other things, the support of Congress to avoid impeachment proceedings against himself. During the election campaign, he had promised to abandon the “old policy” of “take there, give here”.
Bolsonaro’s approval ratings have steadily declined over the course of the coronavirus pandemic. At the beginning of July, 51 percent of those polled rejected his policy, according to a survey by polling station Datafolha. It was Bolsonaro’s worst result since taking office in 2019.