Speaking to ambassadors, Bolsonaro again questions electoral system
Jair Bolsonaro

President Jair Bolsonaro once again questioned the Brazilian electoral system on Monday, less than three months before the presidential election that all polls predict he will lose.

"We want to correct the flaws, we want transparency, a real democracy," said the far-right leader, who has repeatedly sought to cast doubt over the country's electronic voting system.

He continued to blast the voting system in a speech that lasted nearly an hour at the presidential palace in Brasilia, in front of several dozen ambassadors invited specifically to listen to him discuss the topic.

Notable invitees included ambassadors from France and Spain, among others.

Voters in Brazil cast their ballots electronically at voting stations.

But Bolsonaro has long argued for a paper printout to be made of each vote cast, suggesting the absence of a paper trail makes cheating easier.

He has not provided evidence of fraud, and the Superior Electoral Court insists the system is fair and transparent.

"We are three months away from the election," Bolsonaro said. "We cannot hold elections amid mistrust."

His repeated questioning of the system has prompted the Supreme Court to open an investigation into Bolsonaro.

Bolsonaro is broadly projected to lose in October to leftist former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Bolsonaro's comments have led analysts to fear that he may refuse to accept defeat in a scenario similar to the January 2021 invasion of the US Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump, a hero of Bolsonaro's.

At a Senate hearing last week, defense minister Paulo Sergio Nogueira proposed holding a "parallel vote" with a special ballot box for paper ballots.

© 2022 AFP