BRASILIA (Reuters) -The chief justice of Brazil’s Supreme Court said on Wednesday that President Jair Bolsonaro was undermining the top court by encouraging people to disobey its rulings after the far-right leader said he would not accept decisions by one of its justices.
“The Supreme Court will not tolerate threats to the authority of its decisions,” Chief Justice Luiz Fux said in a session of the court, in response to comments by Bolsonaro to supporters demonstrating in major cities on Tuesday.
The president had called the rallies https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/bolsonaro-supporters-breach-police-cordon-ahead-tuesdays-marches-2021-09-07 to protest his perceived enemies in Congress and the top court. Bolsonaro told backers he would not obey Justice Alexandre de Moraes, who is leading investigations into accusations that Bolsonaro and his allies attacked democratic institutions by promoting misleading information on social media.
Brazil’s real currency slumped more than 2% on Wednesday on the institutional tensions https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/bolsonaro-rallies-base-turns-off-allies-markets-2021-09-08 and Bolsonaro’s threats that he might not respect the results of next year’s elections, which opinion polls suggest he will lose.
Fux rebuffed Bolsonaro’s criticism of the court, warning that a “head of state” encouraging people to disregard court decisions was an attack on democracy and a crime for Congress to deal with.
Earlier, House Speaker Arthur Lira, a Bolsonaro ally, had appeared to distance himself from Bolsonaro’s stance and called for calm, saying Brazil had no room for “radicalism” and the country should focus on its real issues.
Lira did not name Bolsonaro, but said criticism of Brazil’s electronic voting and the president’s demands for paper voting receipts had been rejected by Congress and the matter would not be reconsidered.
“I don’t see any room for radicalism and more excesses. The House is committed to real Brazil, which is suffering from a pandemic and unemployment,” Lira said at a news conference.
(Reporting by Anthony Boadle in Brasilia and Gram Slattery in Sao Paulo, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)