Outgoing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has filed a petition with Brazil’s electoral authorities formally challenging the results of this year’s hotly contested presidential election.
Bolsonaro narrowly lost a runoff election last month to leftist rival Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, popularly known as “Lula”, who will be inaugurated as president on January 1.
Since then, Bolsonaro has not explicitly admitted losing, but rather said he would “continue to fulfill all the commandments of the constitution” – leading observers to believe he would cooperate with the transfer of power.
But in the petition filed Tuesday, Bolsonaro and the leader of his right-wing Liberal party claim that some voting machines were faulty and that all votes cast through these machines should be nullified.
Citing an analysis by a company hired by Bolsonaro’s party, the complaint alleges that removing those votes would give Bolsonaro the win.
Responding to Bolsonaro’s petition, election authorities said that since the same voting machines were used in the first round of elections, Bolsonaro and his party should amend their complaint to include those results so that the process can make its way through the courts, affiliated with CNN Brazil reported.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexandre Moraes has given Bolsonaro and his petitioners 24 hours to amend their submission.
Last month’s heated elections took place amid a tense and polarized political environment in Brazil, which is battling high inflation, limited growth and rising poverty.
Lula da Silva received more than 60 million votes – according to the Electoral Authority’s final tally – the most in Brazilian history, breaking his own record set in 2006.