Supreme Court targets Brazilian president for spreading false information

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A Brazilian Supreme Court judge on Wednesday ordered the opening of an investigation against President Jair Bolsonaro for spreading false information, after his constant and unproven attacks on the electoral system.

Judge Alexandre de Moraes made the decision following a request from the Higher Electoral Tribunal (TSE), which announced on Monday that it would open an investigation against the head of state for abuse of political and economic power (…) in its attacks on the electronic voting system and the legitimacy of the 2022 elections.

The magistrate clarified that the Supreme Court's investigation would attempt to establish whether the far-right leader was guilty ofinsult, (of) defamation and (of) slanderous denunciation, especially.

The President of the Republic insinuated the practice of unlawful acts on the part of members of the Supreme Court, using means of mass dissemination (of false information) on social networks, to harm the judiciary and endanger his independence, wrote Judge Moraes in his judgment to which AFP had access.

The investigation must relate in particular to a live transmission of more than two hours on Facebook during which President Bolsonaro reported, last Thursday, of fraud in the electronic ballot box system in force since 1996, without providing any evidence. .

He also strongly criticized several Supreme Court justices, including Luis Roberto Barroso, who is also president of the TSE..

Mr Barroso had already been calledimbecile by Mr. Bolsonaro last month, in a speech in which he cast doubt on the presidential election at the end of 2022.

Either we do clean elections in Brazil, or there will be no elections, he had threatened.

On Tuesday he raised his voice again, claiming that he didwould not accept bullying.

Sunday, Thousands of pro-Bolsonaro demonstrators gathered in major Brazilian cities to protest against the electronic voting system.

Polls give Bolsonaro a loser

Jair Bolsonaro does not advocate a return to voting by paper ballots, but the printing of receipts after each electronic vote, in order to allow a judicial recount in the event of a dispute.

A measure rejected by the TSE, which ensures that the current system has never been peppered with irregularities and that printing paper receipts could instead expose the election at the risk of past manipulation.

The Brazilian president's attacks on the electoral system come when he is in a bad patch due to a clear erosion of his popularity due in particular to his management of the coronavirus crisis, considered calamitous by specialists.

Mr. Bolsonaro is given for several weeks largely losing in the polls vis-a-vis his sworn enemy, the ex-president of left Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (2003-2010), if this one decides to represent himself.

According to analysts consulted by AFP, by repeatedly questioning the electoral system, Mr. Bolsonaro is preparing the ground for a challenge to the result of the ballot in the event of defeat.

He would thus be walking in the footsteps of former US President Donald Trump, to whom he has sometimes been compared and to whom he has a strong admiration.


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