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Brazil Defense Ministry rejects judge’s comments on anti-democratic guidance – Metro US

Brazil Defense Ministry rejects judge’s comments on anti-democratic guidance

Ceremony to hire the first doctors of the “Medicos pelo
Ceremony to hire the first doctors of the “Medicos pelo Brasil” Program in Brasilia

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s Defense Minister joined a feud between the country’s Supreme Court and his boss, right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, disputing statements by a Supreme Court judge who said the Armed Forces were being encouraged to discredit the country’s voting system.

“To state that the Armed Forces were instructed to attack the electoral system, without presenting any proof or evidence of who guided it or how it happened, is irresponsible and constitutes a serious offense,” Defense Minister General Paulo Sergio Nogueira said on Sunday night, fueling tensions between the court and Bolsonaro.

Justice Luis Roberto Barroso said during an on-line seminar at a Berlin university that the Brazilian military received guidance to “attack and discredit” the voting process for the election in October, when Bolsonaro will seek a second term.

Nogueira said Barroso’s statements affected “the ethics, harmony and respect” between the country’s institutions.

The tensions between the top court and the president resurfaced last week when Bolsonaro pardoned an ally the court had sentenced hours earlier to nearly nine years in prison for anti-democratic threats.

Barroso did not mention Bolsonaro by name in his statements, but the president has questioned the validity of Brazil’s electronic voting urns, alleging without proof that they are vulnerable to fraud.

His opponents fear Bolsonaro is preparing the ground to refuse the results of a defeat in October in a polarized race against his political nemesis, former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Opinion polls say Lula has a comfortable though diminishing advantage over Bolsonaro.

Bolsonaro is an admirer of former U.S. President Donald Trump and could be tempted to follow his example and refuse to accept defeat in October.

If that were to happen, the role of Brazil’s Armed Forces will be crucial in defending its democratic institutions.

(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by David Gregorio)

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