Brazil’s Defense Minister asks TSE to disclose objections to voting system
Brazil’s Defense Minister, General Paulo Sergio Nogueira de Oliveira, has asked the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) to make public the questions raised by the Armed Forces regarding the trustworthiness of the Oct. 2 elections.
The objections were duly raised by the military as members of the Electoral Transparency Commission (CTE). However, General Nogueira’s request has been perceived as part of an offensive by President Jair Bolsonaro, who for months has been questioning the reliability of electronic ballots and defending a parallel vote count, controlled by the Armed Forces.
TSE Chief Justice Edson Fachin, also one of the eleven magistrates of the Supreme Federal Court (STF), authorized the disclosure of the documents containing the questions on the electoral process asked by the military, it was reported. According to Estado de Sao Paulo, in eight months the Armed Forces sent 88 questions to the TSE seeking to highlight alleged vulnerabilities in the voting process and the electoral count.
The participation of the military in the committee created by the TSE to increase the transparency of the elections -required by then-TSE Chief Justice Luis Roberto Barroso, in response to Bolsonaro’s criticism- is seen today as a mistake as it provides additional ammunition to the skepticism of the right-wing leader about the functioning of the electoral system, some political observers point out.
According to press reports released last week, US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officials warned the Brazilian Government that President Bolsonaro should stop casting doubt on his country’s voting system ahead of the October elections.
The previously unreported comments by CIA Director William Burns came in a closed-door meeting in July, according to two people familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity to news media.
The CIA declined to comment on the issue. Brazil’s Institutional Security Cabinet (GSI) said in a statement that the Burns meeting had been publicly announced, but that matters discussed in intelligence meetings are confidential.
According to Brazilian media, the US administration of President Joseph Biden fears Bolsonaro might adopt a behavior similar to Donald Trump in case of losing the Presidential elections to leftwing candidate Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva of the Workers’ Party (PT).