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Citizens who question election integrity will be treated as criminals, says top Brazil minister

'Those who criminally are not accepting it will be treated as criminals'

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Yudi Sherman

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Yudi Sherman

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November 06, 2022

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02:29 AM

Citizens who question election integrity will be treated as criminals, says top Brazil minister

 

Superior Electoral Court (TSE) President Minister Alexandre de Moraes Thursday announced that anyone who questions the results of last week’s election, which saw Left-wing former president and convict Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva emerge as the winner, will be treated as a criminal. 

"There is no way to contest the democratically obtained result with illicit, anti-democratic and criminal movements, which will be fought and held accountable. Democracy has won again in Brazil [...] This is democracy, this is alternation of power, this is a democratic state, and those who criminally are not accepting it will be treated as criminals and their responsibilities will be established," threatened Moraes, according to Brasil Sem Medo. 

Da Silva, who spent four years in prison for corruption, beat incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro by less than two percentage points, the narrowest margin for a presidential election in the country’s modern history. Many Brazilians are contesting the legitimacy of the election, saying the electronic voting machines were used fraudulently in favor of da Silva. 

Fierce protests erupted throughout the country last week in favor of Bolsonaro, blocking over 300 roads, including major highways between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, the road to Santos and the road to the São Paulo airport. Protesters reportedly used cranes and farm equipment to block roads connecting Western Brazil to the Amazonian region, as well as the road from Brazil to Paraguay. 

Even the northeast region which is predominantly Left-wing saw mass protests in favor of Bolsonaro, with thousands gathered in Fortaleza, Ceará. 

Some law enforcement officials were also reported to have joined in the protests. 

"We are one of the four largest democracies in the world, but the only one that proclaims the results on the same day,” said de Moraes. “Three hours after the end of the election we already knew who would be the new president and vice-president of the republic, showing the efficiency, speed, and competence of the electronic ballot boxes.” 

There will be no election audit. 

In a speech last week, Joe Biden pre-emptively warned the country that “in some cases we won’t know the winner of the election for a few days — until a few days after the election. It takes time to count all legitimate ballots in a legal and orderly manner. It’s always been important for citizens in the democracy to be informed and engaged. Now it’s important for a citizen to be patient as well. That’s how this is supposed to work.” 

 

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