BRASÍLIA — President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil referred to as dozens of overseas diplomats to the presidential palace on Monday to inform them that he believed the nation’s voting techniques might be rigged, a possible preview of his technique for an election that’s 75 days away and that polls forecast he’ll lose in a landslide.
Whereas Mr. Bolsonaro’s presentation was not new — he has repeated these claims for years — his viewers was. He had invited officers from a lot of the embassies in Brazil’s capital, Brasília, elevating his claims from a matter of home politics to overseas coverage.
He had promised to share proof that confirmed fraud previously two presidential elections, but a lot of his 47-minute presentation, which he broadcast to the public, targeted on rehashing details about a 2018 hack of Brazil’s elections company, in addition to his accusations that sure Supreme Court docket justices have been attempting to sabotage his re-election bid.
“I do know that you simply all need democratic stability in our nation,” Mr. Bolsonaro stated from behind a lectern to dozens of seated diplomats. “And that can solely be achieved with clear, dependable elections.”
Many diplomats on the occasion have been shaken by the presentation, together with Mr. Bolsonaro’s suggestion that the best way to make sure secure elections was by means of deeper involvement of Brazil’s army, in line with two diplomats on the occasion who spoke on the situation of anonymity to debate personal conservations. These diplomats apprehensive that Mr. Bolsonaro was laying the groundwork for an try to dispute the poll outcomes if he misplaced.
Lower than three months earlier than the presidential election, Mr. Bolsonaro seems to be adhering to the blueprint of former President Donald J. Trump. Like Mr. Trump forward of the 2020 U.S. election, Mr. Bolsonaro is trailing within the polls. And like Mr. Trump, Mr. Bolsonaro seemed to be discrediting the vote earlier than it occurs in a supposed effort to extend reliability and transparency.
However Mr. Bolsonaro has publicly doubted the integrity of Brazil’s voting techniques for years, even suggesting that there was fraud within the 2018 election that carried him to the presidency. (He has claimed, with out clear proof, that he would have received by a wider margin if there had been no fraud.)
He has largely cited circumstantial proof, reminiscent of movies that seem to indicate malfunctioning voting machines. A lot of these movies have been debunked by fact-checking agencies and election authorities.
On Monday, Mr. Bolsonaro once more homed in on a 2018 breach during which hackers gained entry for months to the interior techniques of Brazilian election authorities. Mr. Bolsonaro stated that the hack had thrown the nation’s voting techniques into doubt, however election officers have dismissed his issues.
He additionally claimed that Brazil’s federal police “stated through the investigation that the hackers may change the identify of candidates, take a vote from one candidate and ship it to the opposite.” However Brazil’s election company stated that was false.
The company stated that the hackers, who had entry to the company’s techniques through the October 2018 elections, may change details about candidates and events for one municipal election that yr, however that they didn’t change votes or intervene with the digital voting machines, which aren’t linked to the web. The investigation additionally showed that hackers had gained access to the machines’ supply code and voters’ private information. However the company stated the hackers couldn’t get entry to the voting machines or change vote totals.
The company — which is led by the identical Supreme Court docket justices who Mr. Bolsonaro claims are politically aligned towards him — on Monday revealed a 20-point truth examine of Mr. Bolsonaro’s claims and despatched it to diplomats after his speech.
The federal police’s lead investigator into the hack additionally testified earlier than the Supreme Court docket that the investigation had discovered no proof of fraud through the 2018 elections.
Diego Aranha, a Brazilian pc scientist who has scrutinized Brazil’s voting systems, stated that whereas the 2018 hack confirmed that the nation’s election safety might be improved, it didn’t threaten the integrity of elections as a result of the hackers had not been in a position to change votes or infiltrate voting machines.
A number of embassies in Brasília, together with the U.S. Embassy, declined to remark or didn’t reply to messages late Monday. Pietro Lazzeri, Switzerland’s ambassador to Brazil, stated on Twitter, “We want the Brazilian those who the subsequent elections shall be one other celebration of democracy and establishments.”
Officers from america and Europe have stated that they place confidence in Brazil’s elections techniques. President Biden pressured the significance of respecting democratic establishments in his assembly with Mr. Bolsonaro in June.
On the finish of Mr. Bolsonaro’s remarks on Monday, there was a quick silence as he stood earlier than the viewers. Among the president’s assembled cupboard members shortly broke into applause. Most of the assorted diplomats then politely clapped, too.