BRASILIA (Reuters) -Brazilian Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco said on Friday that there is no risk of October election results being challenged, despite concerted efforts by President Jair Bolsonaro to raise questions about the integrity of the country’s voting systems.
“With Brazil’s institutions functioning, with society, with democracy already fully assimilated, I don’t see the slightest environment for a refusal of the electoral result and much less of a coup,” Pacheco told journalists in an interview.
The suggestions by Bolsonaro, who trails in presidential polls, that Brazil’s electronic ballots are vulnerable to fraud, which he has not supported with evidence, have raised fears that the former army captain could refuse to accept the result.
Brazil’s top election official warned this week that Brazil could face a crisis similar to the 2021 U.S. Capitol riot, after former U.S. President Donald Trump, a role model for Bolsonaro, refused to accept electoral defeat.
Pacheco said he was confident the country’s armed forces will respect the electoral outcome after playing a helpful role in a transparency commission created by the country’s top electoral court. He underscored that it falls to the electoral courts alone to count the votes.
“I have no doubt about the maturity and the role of the armed forces in the search for consensus and respect for the electoral result,” the Senate leader said.
Senator Flavio Bolsonaro, the president’s son, on Wednesday said it appeared that the election had already been “rigged” by the TSE court.
He did not give evidence for his assertion, saying only that opinion polls that show his father behind leftist rival Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva do not reflect the support they see out on the campaign trail.
As head of the Senate, Pacheco will have the task of swearing in Brazil’s next president in January. He said he believes that “there will be a normal swearing-in ceremony.”
(Reporting by Maria Carolina MarcelloWriting by Steven GrattanEditing by Brad Haynes and Bill Berkrot)