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Bolsonaro Denies That Armed Forces Carried Out Electoral Audit

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Brazilian President and candidate for reelection, Jair Bolsonaro, denied on Wednesday that the Ministry of Defense had conducted an audit of the electronic ballot boxes used in the first round of the elections, on October 2.

“The Armed Forces do not conduct audits,” Bolsonaro told journalists, consulted on a decision by the Superior Electoral Court that summoned the Ministry of Defense to present the report of the tests it allegedly conducted at the polls on the same day of the first round.

These tests, negotiated with the Supreme Electoral Court, were a consequence of pressure exerted by Bolsonaro himself, as part of a campaign to discredit the electronic voting system that Brazil adopted in 1996 and which to date has not been the subject of allegations of fraud.

Last October 2, Bolsonaro, who is seeking reelection, received 43.2% of the votes, compared to 48.4% for former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, candidate of a progressive front facing him in a second round on October 30.

After the first round, the right-wing leader went so far as to say that he would wait for “the report” of the Armed Forces to give his opinion on the transparency of the process, which was not questioned by anyone.

Two days later, the Supreme Electoral Court reported that no irregularities had been detected, but even so, the Ministry of Defense has remained silent about its tests, which according to the local press have been delivered privately to Bolsonaro.

In response to these versions, the Supreme Electoral Court summoned the military to make these reports public.

“The carrying out of the audit by the Armed Forces” and “the delivery of the result to the candidate for reelection seem to demonstrate the intention to satisfy the electoral will expressed by the chief executive,” said the president of the Supreme Electoral Court, Alexandre de Moraes.

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