The decade's most triggering comedy
Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been banned from holding or even running for office in Brazil until 2030, a panel of judges ruled in a 5-2 decision on Friday. The judges on the electoral court said the populist used government communication channels to cast doubt on Brazil’s electronic voting system.
Bolsonaro, 68, was president of Brazil from January 2019 to December 2022. He lost an election runoff to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in October, 2022, and he subsequently questioned the fairness of the election.
The former president posted on Friday a video of himself and his supporters to Twitter, with the caption, “Brazil above all! God above all!”
Bolsonaro’s base has reportedly been reenergized by the judges’ decision, which supporters say is unfair, and have compared the politician to former President Donald Trump, according to NBC News. Supporters this past week have rallied to pay off some $230,000 in COVID-related fines for Bolsonaro.
-Brasil Acima de Tudo!
– Deus Acima de Todos! pic.twitter.com/yh6wWAVsbS
— Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) June 30, 2023
The judges’ decision takes Bolsonaro out of the 2024 and 2028 municipal elections and the 2026 general elections; he will be 75 years old when he is again allowed to run for office.
“This response will confirm our faith in the democracy,” said the Supreme Court justice who leads the electoral court in Brazil, Alexandre de Moraes.
Bolsonaro’s coalition said an audit of the October 2022 runoff found “signs of irreparable … malfunction” in some of the electronic voting machines, according to Reuters. A complaint said there were signs of “serious failures that generate uncertainties” in the older electronic voting machines, making it “impossible to validate the results generated,” and therefore should be “invalidated.”
The electoral court found that Bolsonaro had violated election laws when he called diplomats to the presidential palace and claimed the voting systems were rigged in Brazil, The New York Times reported.
Bolsonaro is expected to appeal the ruling to Brazil’s Supreme Court — a court the former president has criticized for years, including calling some justices “terrorists.”
The populist is facing criminal threats and could potentially face time behind bars. Brazil’s Federal Police recently searched Bolsonaro’s home and seized his phone as part of an investigation into alleged counterfeit COVID-19 vaccine cards. According to a police statement, the investigation focused on whether cards held by Bolsonaro and his family members were altered in order to comply with U.S. vaccine mandates for travelers coming from outside the country.
Tim Meads contributed to this report