CrisisWatch Brazil

Unchanged Situation

Supreme Electoral Court resisted continued military interest in electoral process as public polarisation over armed forces grew. Ahead of presidential elections set for Oct, concerns grew regarding unlawful intervention of military in electoral process. Superior Electoral Court 2-19 Aug granted military permission to inspect source code for electronic voting machines to be used for elections, following Defence Minister Paulo Sergio Nogueira’s request 1 Aug. However, court 8 Aug declined Nogueira’s request, made in July, to access 2014 and 2018 election data, arguing military has no mandate to analyse past elections. Court same day announced army’s Col Ricardo Sant’anna would be barred from participating in group responsible for overseeing elections, accusing him of “spreading false information in order to discredit the Brazilian electoral system”. After confrontation with Rio de Janeiro’s mayor, Bolsonaro 10 Aug halted plans to combine traditional Sept 7 Independence Day military parade with electoral rally organised by supporters in Copacabana neighbourhood. Proposed joint event polarised public; notably, social network monitoring initiative Democracia Digital 10 Aug said right-wing Telegram groups and channels in Jan-July 2022 saw 695% increase in messages with content including calls for military intervention and demands to arrest Supreme Court justices compared to same period in 2021. Meanwhile, University of São Paulo Law School 11 Aug presented “Letter to Brazilians in defence of the Democratic Rule of Law” at launch event; letter, published late July, raised concerns about “immense danger to democratic normality” amid “insinuations of contempt for the results of the elections”, gathered over 1.1mn signatures.

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