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Bolsonaro Gathers Foreign Diplomats to Cast Doubt on Brazil’s Elections

BRASÍLIA — President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil called dozens of foreign diplomats to the presidential palace on Monday to tell them that he believed the country’s voting systems could be rigged, a potential preview of his strategy for an election that is 75 days away and that polls forecast he will lose in a landslide.

While Mr. Bolsonaro’s presentation was not new — he has repeated those claims for years — his audience was. He had invited officials from most of the embassies in Brazil’s capital, Brasília, elevating his claims from a matter of domestic politics to foreign policy.

He had promised to share evidence that showed fraud in the past two presidential elections, yet much of his 47-minute presentation, which he broadcast to the public, focused on rehashing information about a 2018 hack of Brazil’s elections agency, as well as his accusations that certain Supreme Court justices were trying to sabotage his re-election bid.

“I know that you all want democratic stability in our country,” Mr. Bolsonaro said from behind a lectern to dozens of seated diplomats. “And that will only be achieved with transparent, reliable elections.”

Many diplomats at the event were shaken by the presentation, including Mr. Bolsonaro’s suggestion that the way to ensure safe elections was through deeper involvement of Brazil’s military, according to two diplomats at the event who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conservations. Those diplomats worried that Mr. Bolsonaro was laying the groundwork for an attempt to dispute the ballot results if he lost.

RodionRomanovitch · 56-60, M
I wonder who he got that idea off. 🤔

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