Let’s Tune In: An Authoritarian Threat to Brazil’s Democracy

Let’s Tune In: An Authoritarian Threat to Brazil’s Democracy

Giuseppe Maria Bartalotta
Latest posts by Giuseppe Maria Bartalotta (see all)

Let’s Tune In is a weekly column produced by our Newsroom team to highlight one story that you might have missed from last week. You can read more about our weekly content on the Newsroom page.

After several times Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said he would not accept the result of the elections, he went on with further declarations these days which confused and scared thousands of Brazilians so much that they signed a manifesto in which they recognize the threat to their Brazilian democracy. Thousands of Brazilians protested claiming to Bolsonaro to respect their vote and the Brazilian people.

The manifesto was signed by a million Brazilians and was inspired by the historic Manifesto of 1977 which denounced Brazil‘s 1964-1985 dictatorship. The manifesto has been enriched by the signature of bankers, business tycoons, three former presidents, and candidates in this year’s election. None had imagined after 45 years there would have been another manifesto that had to defend democratic institutions under attack.

Bolsonaro has always declared he does not believe in Brazil’s voting system made by electronic voting machines because it does not leave a paper trail. For this reason, a year ago Bolsonaro tried to change the electoral system by placing printed ballots papers but the Congress rejected his proposal. Bolsonaro did not accept this decision either. Instead, he continued to criticize the voting system also threatening that if he loses, there could be consequences.

What the opposition is afraid of is that Bolsonaro could do the same thing Donald Trump did in America and declare the October Brazilian elections a fraud. Inciting his voters to revolt. It is not news that he showed admiration for what Trump did and this could be a sign of what he wants to do. No less attention suscitated the glorification of the years of dictatorship as well as his meeting with Hungary’s autocratic leader, Viktor Orbán, and Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Notwithstanding the possible change that could be verified in the Brazilian leadership in October, this does not mean the Brazilian International posture will change because even if Brazilian President Bolsonaro visited Moscow a few days before Russia invaded Ukraine and he did not follow the West response to Russia, former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva currently the favourite candidate to the October Brazilian elections also does not approve the West response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

What Bolsonaro said about the voting system was dangerous and the civil society and elite know it. The Manifesto was and is a clear response to Bolsonaro’s criticisms of the voting system. This message has led the International Community and Bolsonaro himself to become aware of his possible defeat.

How will Bolsonaro respond to this Manifesto? Will Bolsonaro accept and respect the Brazilian automated election system?

Suggested Readings:

Sanctions on Russia ‘irresponsible’, adviser to Brazil’s Lula says — RT World News

Brazilians march in defence of democracy over Bolsonaro election fears – BBC News

Brazil Manifestos Seek to Rein in Bolsonaro Before Election (southamericanews.net)

Bolsonaro: Closer US-Brazil ties unlikely after ‘Trump of the Tropics’ meets Biden – BBC News

Brazil: Citizens Signed Manifesto Declaring Brazilian Democracy in Danger as Presidential Election Nears | Latin Post – Latin news, immigration, politics, culture

Citizens’ manifesto declares Brazilian democracy facing ‘immense danger’ | Brazil | The Guardian

Brazilians unite in defense of democracy

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Let’s Tune In: An A…

by Giuseppe Maria Bartalotta time to read: 2 min