Tuesday, January 31

Brazil votes amid polarization and Bolsonaro’s threats not to recognize the result

Some 156 million Brazilians have in their hands the possibility of striking down at the polls the far right era in the Government or give the possibility to Jair Bolsonaro to maintain until the second round (the last Sunday in October) his chances of being re-elected. The latest polls place Luiz Inacio ‘Lula’ da Silvathe candidate of workers party (PT), very close to proclaiming himself the winner this Sunday night of a contest marked by the Polarizationthe assaults and an avalanche of fake news. On the same Saturday, Datafolha and Ipec gave the former president 50% and 51% of the valid votes after a Saturday with demonstrations by the two contenders.

Never Brazil He arrived at an electoral appointment with so much uncertainty. The reasons for this confusion mixed with anxiety have to do with Bolsonaro’s unfiltered threat of challenge the results if they are not in your favour. The aggressiveness of the retired captain grew as the polls predicted a defeat for him, also in the second round.

Between reality and runaway ambitions, Bolsonaro leans towards the latter. During the funeral of Elizabeth IIand in the best style of his admired donald trumpthe retired captain assured that if he does not prevail in the first round with 60% of the votes “something abnormal” will have happened in Superior Electoral Court (TSE). Incitements to question the verdict evoke in Brazil images of the attack on the Capitol.

The attacks by Bolsonarism against the TSE have bordered on the improbable. His main authority, and one of Bolsonaro’s targetsAlexandre de MoraesHe was forced to show the non-existence of a “secret room” in which the votes would be manipulated. “It’s an open and clear room,” he said after touring the facility with the defense minister, Paulo Sergio Nogueira de Oliveiratogether with the president of the official Liberal Party (PL), Valdemar Costa Neto, as well as national and international observers.

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On the other hand, the TSE accused the PL of having disclosed “fraudulent information” on the electoral system through a supposedly “technical” document according to which there was “no external control” over the source code of the programs for electronic ballot boxes and electoral systems and, furthermore, there was “absolute power to manipulate the results”. Those conclusions, added the high court, “are false and not true, without any basis in reality”, in a “clear attempt to disturb the natural course of the electoral process”.

rivers of lies

Although Costa Neto later acknowledged that the room was “now” open, the political damage had already been done. The social networks they are the most fertile battlefield where the extreme right tries to win wills on the basis of an uninterrupted cataract of fake news. In the 2018 elections, the fake campaign was based on moral and gender issues. Messages proliferated about the distribution of baby bottles with penis spout in nurseries of the municipalities administered by the PT.

According to Palver Mapping, a technology company that monitors more than 15,000 public WhatsApp groups, in this contest the fake news revolve around the alleged lack of transparency of elections. the paulista newspaper Folha made reference to one of the crudest texts: the “denunciation” of the opening and ballot box tampering in a union led by Lula’s party. The message has reached millions of phones. Bolsonaro had no qualms about propagating the idea of ​​irregularity, to the point of exposing it undaunted to the diplomatic community. And what the retired captain says is later replicated in virtual spaces and through his followers.

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the pentecostal pastor silas malafaiaa vital ally of the far-right government, predicted the divine punishment if the president’s complaints about the malfunctioning of the polls that were implanted in 1996 and allowed Bolsonaro to be elected five times as a deputy and, four years ago, win the presidential elections are verified. “May God, by his eternal power, put a stop to this for more than eight hours. And if this matter is blocked for more than eight hours in the count, the house will fall“, he said about the scrutiny.

The fear and the indecisive

The lies fed dangerously on the eve of the elections. Bolsonaro warned that he could order the military to close polling stations if voters are prohibited from exercising their right with the green and yellow jersey of the Brazilian soccer team. The permanent admonitions have left their mark on the electorate. A survey by the Brazilian Forum of Public Security has concluded that 67.5% of voters they fear being physically assaulted for his political choice. The percentage is higher among women (71.8%), people from scarce resources (71.5%) and the Afro-descendants (73%). Fear can lead to not participating in the electoral process. A higher degree of abstention increases Bolsonaro’s chances of making it to the second round.


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