Bloomberg — The US embassy in Brasilia described Brazil’s elections as a “model for the world,” one day after President Jair Bolsonaro told foreign ambassadors that the country’s electronic voting system is subject to fraud.
Echoing comments made by President Joe Biden during a bilateral meeting with Bolsonaro last month, the embassy said in a statement late Tuesday that the US “trusts in the strength” of Brazil’s democratic institutions.
“The country has a strong track record of free and fair elections, with transparency and high levels of voter participation,” reads the statement published in Portuguese, without citing Bolsonaro or the meeting he hosted the previous day. “We are confident that Brazil’s 2022 elections will reflect the will of the electorate.”
The far-right Brazilian leader, trailing former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in all major opinion polls, has repeatedly cast doubt about the integrity of the country’s electronic ballots, even claiming without proof that his 2018 election was rigged against him as he should have won it in the first round of voting. Yet this week’s meeting went a step further as he thought to discredit the country’s electoral authority before a foreign audience.
Bolsonaro gathered representatives of about 70 foreign governments at his official residence on Monday to rehash old and debunked conspiracy theories about the security of the system Brazil has been using for more than two decades.
Several Brazilian institutions have rebuked the president, including Brazil’s Supreme Court Chief Justice Luiz Fux, who repudiated “the attempt to put in check, before the international community, the electoral process and the electronic voting machines that have guaranteed Brazil’s democracy in recent decades.”
Over 40 Brazilian public prosecutors wrote a public letter to the country’s Prosecutor General Augusto Aras, an ally of Bolsonaro, demanding the opening of an investigation into the president for allegedly abusing his power and disrespecting the electoral law when trying to “destabilize and discredit the electoral process and its institutions.”
Just after Bolsonaro’s speech on Monday, the president of the electoral court, Justice Edson Fachin, said that statements to discredit Brazil’s voting system are “fake news,” while Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco added that the security of Brazil’s electoral process can no longer be questioned.