Bolsonaro contests Brazil election, demands votes be annulled in runoff
SÃO PAULO — President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday issued a challenge to the Brazilian people, demanding the annulment of the election and the runoff between him and leftist opponent Fernando Haddad, which was held Saturday after a court nullified an already-held runoff.
“The people have given the mandate to me as president of the republic,” Bolsonaro said in his first televised speech on national television since the last-ditch runoff between him and Haddad in October.
Bolsonaro also said that if the election was nullified, he would refuse to participate in elections for the remaining months of this presidential term, according to the Brazilian newspaper, Folha de S.Paulo. However, it is unclear if he would respect the results, which he would have to take into consideration.
A court ruling in October was the final word on whether Haddad should participate in the runoff.
“This is the final argument,” said a member of the Brazilian president’s team in a televised statement Monday. “The court ruled in favor of the right, because there was no irregularity or violence,” he said.
Since the October ruling, Bolsonaro has been preparing a political strategy to challenge the results of every election held in the country.
Bolsonaro has been criticized as the first Latin American president to have a foreign election victory. His victory in 2018’s presidential election in Brazil was based on his support among many poor, black neighborhoods in the south of the country.
His victory this year’s election is based on his support among rural, conservative voters in the north of Brazil.
The election to be contested in October between Haddad, who was running for president again in September’s election, and Bolsonaro, who is also running for president again, was also called by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE).
However, the TSE last month nullified the runoff by declaring that the process of filling the ranks of the legislative and executive branches was irregular and void.
In October, the Supreme Court nullified the vote, which resulted in a stalemate between Bolsonaro and Haddad, who was running for a third consecutive term as president