Brazil, which is due to hold a presidential election in October, is at risk of facing a “more severe” incident than the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol, according to the head of the country’s electoral court.
Edson Fachin’s comments on Wednesday follow the latest polls that showed Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro trailing behind former leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Bolsonaro has cast doubts on the voting system, without evidence, going as far as threatening to reject an unfavourable outcome in the elections.
“We may experience an episode even more severe than the January 6 [attack] on the Capitol,” Fachin said in a presentation at the Wilson Center in Washington, DC.
On January 6, 2021, hundreds of supporters of then-President Donald Trump overwhelmed police officers as they stormed the US Capitol in Washington, DC, in an attempt to violently prevent the certification of President Joe Biden’s election victory.
Fachin also warned he would not accept any interference in the electoral process. The involvement of Brazil’s armed forces in the presidential race has to be cooperative and must never be interfering, he said.
Earlier this year, the electoral court created a transparency commission with representatives of several public institutions, including the military, to ensure greater security for the voting process.
Military leaders have broadly said the armed forces will respect any election result. Still, some military officials have echoed Bolsonaro’s comments about potential weaknesses in Brazil’s voting system.
“Evidently, we will not accept this type of circumstance. Collaboration yes, intervention never,” Fachin said.