Brazil: Allies claim Bolsonaro plotted coup to stop President Lula
RIO DE JANEIRO –
A Brazilian magazine on Thursday released an audio recording of a senator claiming that then-President Jair Bolsonaro had sought help in a plot to annul the October elections and keep him in power. .
In the recording, Senator Marcos do Val tells Veja magazine that the idea was discussed when he met Bolsonaro and lawmaker Daniel Silveira on December 9 at the presidential palace, three weeks before Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the leftist took office. .
Do Val, an ally during Bolsonaro’s four-year term, said the far-right leader had given him “the task” of recording Alexandre de Moraes, a Supreme Court justice who also heads the electoral body. elected by Brazil, while trying to convince the judge to admit he had exceeded his constitutional powers.
“‘I canceled the election, Lula didn’t take the oath of office, I stayed in the presidency and arrested Alexandre de Moraes for his comments,’ Val quoted Bolsonaro as saying.
Veja released the audio in response to the senator’s denial following the magazine’s article Thursday morning about the purported conspiracy, which did not cite him as its source. Do Val told reporters after the magazine published his story that the plot was Silveira’s idea and that the former president did not say a word during the meeting.
Late Thursday, de Moraes ordered the Federal Police to take Val’s sworn testimony within five days. Bolsonaro, who has kept a low profile in Florida since December 30, has not commented on the matter on any of his social media channels. He recently applied for a six-month tourist visa to stay in the US
The meeting allegedly adds to the list of woes for Bolsonaro, who is under investigation for his possible role in an uprising by his supporters in the Brazilian capital on January 8.
Bolsonaro had questioned the nation’s electronic voting system for months before the election, and then he refused to concede defeat. His ardent supporters accused de Moraes of rigging the election in favor of Lula without presenting any evidence, and exceeding his authority by blocking social media accounts and warrants for arrest and arbitrary search.
Suspicions of a coup attempt increased after police searched the home of Bolsonaro’s former justice minister and found a draft decree that would take control of the electoral body and potentially overturn the election. vote. The origin of the unsigned document is unclear and it is not known whether Bolsonaro or his subordinates took any steps to take the measure.
Do Val told both Veja magazine and journalists late on Thursday that he had informed de Moraes of what was discussed at the meeting with Bolsonaro and Silveira, and that he had refused to participate. into the alleged conspiracy.
Senator Flavio Bolsonaro, son of the former president, said he was aware of the meeting, which he described as Silveira’s attempt to convince the other two men to do something “completely unacceptable , absurd and illegal.” However, discussing such an idea does not constitute a crime, he said.
Silveira was arrested on Thursday by order of de Moraes for violating the terms of his release from prison. Silveira had previously been convicted of anti-democratic acts after making threats against de Moraes and other judges, but was released after Bolsonaro pardoned him. However, he was still banned from using his social media accounts and had to wear an electronic ankle bracelet as further investigations into him were conducted.
Associated Press writer Mauricio Savarese in Sao Paulo contributed to this report.