International warnings grow over threat to democracy in Brazil | Elections News

International warnings about efforts to “subvert democracy” in Brazil are growing, just days before voters go to the polls for a presidential election that has deepened divisions in the South American country.

Right-wing incumbent Jair Bolsonaro has suggested that he can refuse results if he loses, as most opinion polls show him trailing his left-wing opponent, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

The US Senate late Wednesday passed a resolution supporting a free election in Brazil and denouncing “attempts to incite political violence and sabotage the electoral process”.

The symbolic measure, which was unanimously adopted, calls on the US government to “immediately” recognize the result of the October 2 vote if it is determined to be fair by international observers. .

It also urges the Biden administration to “review and reconsider the relationship between the United States.” [and] any government that comes to power in Brazil through undemocratic meansincluding a military coup”.

Sunday’s vote pits Bolsonaro against Lulawhom a poll this week showed held the lead, 13 percentage points.

Several other candidates are also seeking the presidency. If no one wins a majority of votes, a second round of voting is scheduled for October 30. The candidates will be prepared for the final debate on Thursday.

For months, Bolsonaro did baseless accusations that Brazil’s electronic voting system is vulnerable to widespread fraud – allegations that human rights groups fear could set the stage for him to dispute the outcome to stay in power.

Other experts also concerns that Bolsonaro’s supporters could take to the streets in large numbers if he was not re-elected and political violence could break out.

On Wednesday, US lawmaker Bernie Sanders, the lead sponsor of the Senate resolution, said the measure was intended to send a message that Congress supports democracy in Brazil.

“It would be unacceptable for the United States to recognize a government that came to power undemocratic and it would send a terrible message to the entire world,” Sanders said in a statement.

“It’s important for the Brazilian people to know we’re on their side, on the side of democracy.”

This week, dozens of European lawmakers also urged the EU to “take additional steps to make it clear to President Bolsonaro and his government that Brazil’s constitution must be respected and work to circumvent the democratic rule is unacceptable”.

In a letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, MPs said dissuade was “important”. Brazilian Army leadership from supporting “a coup”.

Brazil was under authoritarian military rule from 1964 to 1985, and Bolsonaro – a former army captain – has expressed admiration for the old regime, which human rights groups describe as ““ brutal dictatorship”.

The EU should declare that it will use various levers, including trade, to protect Brazil’s democracy and human rights, the European lawmakers said.

With nearly 215 million people, Brazil is the second most populous country in the Western Hemisphere after the United States.

This is where large parts of the Amazon rainforest, often referred to as the “lungs of the planet”, were once increasing threats of deforestation.

Climate advocates have criticized Bolsonaro’s government for weakening environmental regulations and supporting mining in Amazon.

Lula has promised to protect the rainforest and stop illegal logging and logging if elected.

Last week, UN experts denounced threats, intimidation and political violence ahead of elections in Brazil. They said: “We call on the authorities to protect and respect the work of electoral organizations.

In August, Human Rights Watch pointed out at Bolsonaro for “using a mixture of insults and threats to intimidate the independent media and the Supreme Court”.

Amnesty International earlier this month also accused Bolsonaro of using “anti-human rights discourse” before the election.

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