The 40 Day Dilemma: Brazil's Ongoing Crisis...• By Werner Pfluck and Ryan Hartwig
About 40 days ago, Brazil held the second round of its general elections, which were supposed to define the President of the Republic, governors, senators and federal and state deputies. What was supposed to end the tension that started long before the election campaign only served to increase the pressure. Millions of Brazilians are revolted by the results presented by the Electoral Justice, not because they are sad with the defeat, but because the whole process is full of illegalities, arbitrariness and serious and consistent accusations of fraud.
The restlessness of the majority of the population stems from the clearly biased behavior of the TSE, the Superior Court of Electoral Justice, and of some members of the STF, the Federal Supreme Court, who are members of both courts, appointed by the former governments of the Workers' Party (PT), whom they seemed to favor in this election. The current president of the Electoral Court has long been a political ally of the elected vice president with Lula da Silva, PT candidate.
Lula is a former president who was sentenced for corruption to 21 years in prison, convicted in common law, with the conviction confirmed in the Appellate Court (TRF, in the acronym in Portuguese) and later in the Supreme Court of Justice (STJ). But he had all the processes annulled by a friend appointed by his party to the STF, Justice Edson Fachin, so that he could participate in the elections again. Fachin's decision was supported by other court justices, who had been openly opposing President Bolsonaro since the beginning of his term in 2019.
These justices prevented the implementation of the printed ballot along with the electoral machines, forcing the population to rely exclusively on the data presented by the electoral software. The Army, which together with other institutions accompanied the preparation of the machines and the entire electoral process, identified many failures in the system that allowed a risk of manipulation and fraud and presented suggestions for the solution of these problems.