Brazil court fines Bolsonaro party after challenge to election defeat

Judge accuses Liberal Party of acting in ‘bad faith’ and trying to undermine country’s electronic voting system

Brazil’s electoral court has fined outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro’s party after it insisted on questioning the result of the runoff election he lost last month.

The court’s president, Alexandre de Moraes, on Wednesday ordered the Liberal Party to pay 23 million reais (€4.12 million), saying it was acting in “bad faith” and trying to undermine Brazil’s electronic voting system.

Mr Moraes also blocked transfer of public funds to the Liberal Party and sent the case to the supreme court.

Mr Bolsonaro’s party maintained on Wednesday that older models of electronic ballots had problems that make it impossible to properly identify the machines, and requested that votes cast through them be annulled. If only new models of the machines are deemed reliable, the conservative president would be re-elected with 51.05 per cent of the votes, the party said in a complaint filed Tuesday.


However, the Liberal Party did not extend the challenge to the first round of the vote, as demanded by electoral authorities as a condition to consider the case. Had it done so, it would have angered many of his own members who won seats in congress during the first round.

Despite the electoral court’s rejection of the allegations, they are energising Mr Bolsonaro’s most loyal supporters. Many of them continue to block highways across Brazil, repeating unproven claims of election fraud and demanding a military intervention. – Bloomberg