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Brazil’s Electoral Court Fears US Capitol-Style Riots in October Vote

·1 min read

(Bloomberg) -- Brazil’s top electoral authority warned the country may face post-election riots worse than those seen in the US Capitol on Jan. 6, when Donald Trump’s supporters assaulted Congress in a bid to overturn his defeat in the 2020 vote.

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Supreme Court Justice Edson Fachin on Wednesday called on the nation’s civil society and institutions to support electoral authorities when they declare the results of the October election, which has former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as the front-runner.

“It’s said in Brazil that we may have an episode even worse than Jan. 6 here in the Capitol,” Fachin, who’s also presiding over Brazil’s top electoral court, told a Wilson Center audience in Washington, D.C.

He listed a series of measures to avoid that the same happens in the South American nation. “Brazil’s judiciary won’t bow to anyone,” he said.

President Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly questioned the reliability of Brazil’s electronic voting system, claiming without proof that his own election in 2018 was rigged against him as he should have won it in the first round of voting. He has said Brazilians should own guns to protect themselves and their country.

Read More: Bolsonaro’s Brawl With a Top Justice Tests Brazil’s Democracy

A former army captain, Bolsonaro has also said he wants the armed forces to “oversee” the voting process in October.

Fachin, who presides over the country’s top electoral court, said that if the armed forces are called on, it will be to defend the country’s institutions, “not the opposite.”

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