Elections in Brazil run normally for the first few hours

New election probe into abuse of power against Bolsonaro opened

This content was published on January 20, 2023 – 1:17 AM January 20, 2023 – 1:17 AM

Rio de Janeiro, 19 January (EFE).- Brazil’s Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) on Thursday launched a new investigation into former President Jair Bolsonaro for abuse of political and economic power during the 2022 presidential campaign in which he was defeated Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, official sources reported.

Bolsonaro, who has been the subject of at least seven trials before the electoral court, could be sentenced to political disqualification and no longer be eligible under the new procedure.

The decision was made by Magistrate Benedito Gonçalves in response to a request from the Workers’ Party (PT), the formation led by Lula, and other parties supporting the progressive leader’s candidacy.

The open-ended case examines a possible abuse of political and economic power by the far-right leader for conducting campaign events at the Presidential Palace of Planalto and the Alvorada Palace, the official residence of the heads of state, including announcing support for his second-round candidacy of the 2022 elections.

According to the coalition, Bolsonaro has misrepresented the purpose of public goods by using the palaces as a “meeting place” with governors, federal lawmakers and celebrities to promote his candidacy.

According to the magistrate’s decision, the right to vote does not provide for “unrestricted permission” to use public property for private purposes.

For the judge, rooms like the one used for the President of the Republic’s press conferences were used to stage “flashy campaign events” that attempted to convey “an image of the political power” of Bolsonaro’s candidacy.

After the first round, Bolsonaro made daily announcements at the presidency’s headquarters, garnering public support from the governors reelected in the first round, and which were widely shared on social media.

In the decision, the judge emphasized that Bolsonaro is already responding to two other investigations into electoral use of public property.

The ex-president, who has been in the US since December 30, has also been included in another investigation into his alleged involvement in the January 8 coup attempt.

That day, thousands of his supporters attacked the headquarters of Congress, the Presidency, and the Supreme Court, leaving a blanket of destruction in their wake.

More than 1,800 people have been arrested as a result of the events, a third of whom have been released on humanitarian grounds and will face the trial at liberty. EFE


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