Brazil: war is declared between Bolsonaro and Brazilian justice

Between the executive and the judiciary, it’s time to clash. It all started last month, when President Jair Bolsonaro denounced alleged fraud linked to the electronic voting system, and demanded the introduction of impression voting control, fourteen months before the next presidential election. Even though he did not provide any proof of this alleged fraud, he decreed that “if there are no clean elections, there will be no elections” . Many have interpreted these remarks as an attempt to challenge the very principle of elections , when his popularity rating is at its lowest. It dropped to % against 24% a year ago, according to the Datafolha institute

Faced with this threatening context, the judiciary firmly replied. On the one hand, the electoral court certified that the electronic ballot boxes, used in Brazil for a quarter of centuries, were inviolable and reliable. Then the Supreme Court opened official investigations against the president. He is now accused of disseminating false information on electronic ballot boxes. The investigation should relate in particular to a live transmission of more than two hours on Facebook during which President Bolsonaro reported last Thursday of fraud in the electronic ballot box system in force since 1996, without justifying its assertions. If the facts were true, he could become ineligible.

Resistance Equal to him- even, Jair Bolsonaro replied: “These investigations have no legal basis. If we do not play within the rules of the Constitution, the answer must also come from outside the framework of the Constitution ”.

But for many Brazilians, the resolute reaction of the judiciary is a way of opposing a “basta” to the blows of the executive. “The Supreme Court is starting to react to threats. It is a sign of resistance, which could go in the direction of the dismissal of Jair Bolsonaro ”, estimates the former Minister of Justice José Carlos Dias, who currently chairs the Arns Commission of defense of the rights of Man.

Inveterate player will hold in Brazil, and its results will be respected ”. The statement appears to be self-evident. But faced with the deterioration of the situation, a group of 200 influential figures, including many businessmen, have just signed a manifesto on this subject, in stressing the gravity of the situation. “Brazilian society is the guarantor of the Constitution and will not accept authoritarian adventures” , they assure. “Our democracy has been threatened for some time, warns Arminio Fraga, former president of the Central Bank. But there is now an explicit threat of rupture ”. Another signatory of the manifesto, the president of Credit Suisse, José Olympio Pereira, hopes to put an end to “the escalation” and advocates a “Back to normal” .

But Jair Bolsonaro seems determined to maintain the climate of crisis, as he did throughout the pandemic. “He adopts a strategy of die-hard player. Even when he loses, he always tries to make another attempt to see if he manages to win in the next round. He relies on luck and intuition. It doesn’t have many limits ”, explains Cláudio Couto, political scientist at the Getúlio Vargas Foundation, which fears the explosion of political violence before the elections.