Brazil military finds no evidence of election fraud in wake of Bolsonaro defeat

Report scuppers far-right’s hopes of delegitimising the ballot victory of Lula

A much-awaited report by Brazil’s defence ministry has failed to indicate recent ballots were fraudulent, scuppering the far-right’s hopes of delegitimising the election of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

The military sent the 63-page report to Brazil’s electoral authorities late on Wednesday after days of speculation that it would back claims by extremist president Jair Bolsonaro that the election was tainted.

Mr Bolsonaro, a former army captain, has spent months hinting he would not accept a loss at the polls and frequently called into question the reliability of Brazil’s electronic ballot boxes, even though he provided no evidence they could be tampered with.

His supporters hoped the military would back up these claims but the only note of doubt was a weak suggestion a committee be formed to ensure the source code used in the boxes cannot be tampered with.


Brazil’s senior electoral official said they “received with satisfaction the final report from the defence ministry that, in common with all the other monitoring agencies, does not point to any fraud or inconsistency in electronic ballot boxes or in the 2022 electoral process”.

Alexandre Moraes, the supreme court justice who heads the electoral court, said “The suggestions on ways to perfect the system will be analysed.”

The defence ministry report was published a day after the Brazilian Bar Association said it had found no reports of anything untoward during the two rounds of voting for president, governors, Congress and state legislatures in 27 states.

Their report said it found evidence “the electoral justice system preserved evenness and security”.

Mr Bolsonaro lost the October 30th run-off election to his nemesis Lula by 50.9 per cent to 49.1 per cent, the slimmest winning margin since the end of Brazil’s right-wing dictatorship in 1985.

However, Mr Bolsonaro has refused to acknowledge defeat and has hidden from view since the vote, emerging only once two days after the ballot to ask his supporters to call off protests that were blocking highways and roads across the country.

Although the most disruptive demonstrations have been broken up by law enforcement, hardcore Bolsonaristas have continued to appear in front of military barracks calling for the military to take power.

Lula, meanwhile, has been working on the transition ahead of his inauguration on January 1st. He spent the day in Brasília meeting political leaders and praised the electronic voting machines that Brazil has used without issue since 1996.

“The electronic urns are a triumph for the Brazilian people,” Lula said. “I think many countries around the world are jealous of Brazil for the smoothness of the process here.”

The president-elect’s comments came as counting continues in key races after Tuesday’s midterm elections.

Voting is compulsory in Brazil and the almost 120 million votes cast are usually counted within three or four hours of the polls closing. – Guardian