BRASÍLIA — President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil known as dozens of overseas diplomats to the presidential palace on Monday to inform them that he believed the nation’s voting programs could possibly 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 many 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 general public, centered on rehashing details about a 2018 hack of Brazil’s elections company, in addition to his accusations that sure Supreme Courtroom justices had been attempting to sabotage his re-election bid.
“I do know that you just all need democratic stability in our nation,” Mr. Bolsonaro mentioned from behind a lectern to dozens of seated diplomats. “And that can solely be achieved with clear, dependable elections.”
Many diplomats on the occasion had been shaken by the presentation, together with Mr. Bolsonaro’s suggestion that the way in which to make sure protected elections was by deeper involvement of Brazil’s army, in response to two diplomats on the occasion who spoke on the situation of anonymity to debate personal conservations. These diplomats frightened 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 gave the impression 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 programs 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 gained by a wider margin if there had been no fraud.)
He has largely cited circumstantial proof, comparable to movies that seem to point out malfunctioning voting machines. Lots of these movies have been debunked by fact-checking companies and election authorities.
On Monday, Mr. Bolsonaro once more homed in on a 2018 breach by which hackers gained entry for months to the inner programs of Brazilian election authorities. Mr. Bolsonaro mentioned that the hack had thrown the nation’s voting programs into doubt, however election officers have dismissed his issues.
He additionally claimed that Brazil’s federal police “mentioned in the course of the investigation that the hackers may change the title of candidates, take a vote from one candidate and ship it to the opposite.” However Brazil’s election company mentioned that was false.
The company mentioned that the hackers, who had entry to the company’s programs in the course of 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 intrude with the digital voting machines, which aren’t linked to the web. The investigation additionally confirmed that hackers had gained entry to the machines’ supply code and voters’ private information. However the company mentioned the hackers couldn’t get entry to the voting machines or change vote totals.
The company — which is led by the identical Supreme Courtroom justices who Mr. Bolsonaro claims are politically aligned in opposition to him — on Monday printed a 20-point truth verify 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 Courtroom that the investigation had discovered no proof of fraud in the course of the 2018 elections.
Diego Aranha, a Brazilian pc scientist who has scrutinized Brazil’s voting programs, mentioned that whereas the 2018 hack confirmed that the nation’s election safety could possibly be improved, it didn’t threaten the integrity of elections as a result of the hackers had not been capable of 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, mentioned on Twitter, “We want the Brazilian folks that the subsequent elections can be one other celebration of democracy and establishments.”
Officers from the USA and Europe have mentioned that they think about Brazil’s elections programs. President Biden burdened 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 short silence as he stood earlier than the viewers. A number of the president’s assembled cupboard members shortly broke into applause. Lots of the assorted diplomats then politely clapped, too.