Trial begins against Bolsonaro could disqualify him


The Superior Electoral Court (TSE) of Brazil opened this Thursday (06.22.2023) the first hearing of a trial in which it will analyze the alleged abuses committed by former President Jair Bolsonaro during the campaign for the October elections of last year. The seven magistrates of the court opened the plenary session at the court’s headquarters in Brasilia, amid great expectations in the South American giant. The first session of the three that will make up the process was opened by Judge Benedito Gonçalves with a detailed presentation of the circumstances that led Bolsonaro to the bench and the accusations made by the Democratic Labor Party.

The far-right leader is accused of abusing his position as head of state to promote his candidacy and maintain a harsh campaign of discredit against the electoral Justice itself and democratic institutions, during the process that led to the elections won by the progressive Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. A central point of the accusation is a meeting that Bolsonaro called at the official residence of the Presidency with fifty foreign ambassadors on July 18, 2022 to disqualify the electoral system and democracy itself, and that he ordered it to be broadcast on television. public.

In his speech before the diplomats at the Alvorada presidential residence, Bolsonaro assured without evidence that he was seeking to “correct failures” in the current electronic voting system with the “participation of the Armed Forces.” The former captain said that the supposed vulnerability of the system could be used to manipulate the electoral result against him. This argument later fueled part of his radicalized followers, who on January 8, 2023, days after Lula’s inauguration, invaded the headquarters of the three powers in Brasilia after losing the elections by a narrow margin of 1.8 percentage points in the second round against Lula.

The TSE, which if it finds Bolsonaro guilty can strip him of his political rights for eight years , has reserved three hearings for this case, so the sentence would be handed down next week. In legal media, however, the possibility of a magistrate requesting more time to analyze the case is being considered, which could extend the decision for a maximum period of 60 days.

In particular, it is presumed that Judge Kassio Nunes Marques, ultra-conservative and promoted in 2020 to the Supreme Court, of which he is also a member, can invoke that time for further reflection by Bolsonaro himself when he was President. The former president, who defends his innocence, plans to follow the session remotely since he is in the city of Porto Alegre, in the south of the country, where he carried out various political activities.