Brazilians protest for democracy as Bolsonaro threatens election

Brazil

The protests happen amid issues that Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro may refuse to just accept election outcomes.

Thousands of Brazilians flocked to a regulation faculty Thursday in defence of the nation’s democratic establishments, an occasion that carried echoes of a gathering nearly 45 years in the past when residents joined collectively on the similar web site to denounce a brutal army dictatorship.

In 1977, the lots poured into the University of Sao Paulo’s regulation faculty to hearken to a studying of “A Letter to Brazilians”, a manifesto calling for a immediate return of the rule of regulation. On Thursday, they heard declarations defending democracy and the nation’s elections programs, which far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly attacked forward of his bid for reelection in October.

While the present manifestos don’t particularly identify Bolsonaro, they underscore the nation’s widespread concern that the far-right chief might comply with in former US President Donald Trump’s footsteps and reject election outcomes not in his favour in an try to cling to energy.

One manifesto learn at Thursday’s occasion garnered greater than 800,000 signatures and warned that Brazilian democracy was below risk.

“We are at risk of a coup, so civil society must stand up and fight against that to guarantee democracy,” Jose Carlos Dias, a former justice minister who helped write the 1977 letter and the 2 paperwork learn Thursday, informed the Associated Press information company.

In Sao Paulo, drivers caught in site visitors on one of many primary roads to the regulation faculty applauded and honked as marching college students chanted pro-democracy slogans. An enormous inflatable digital voting machine by the constructing’s primary entrance bore the slogan “RESPECT THE VOTE.”

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Bolsonaro’s dedication to democracy has been scrutinized since he took workplace, largely as a result of the previous military captain has insistently glorified the nation’s two-decade dictatorship, which led to 1985.

For greater than a yr, in actions that look like lifted instantly from Trump’s playbook, Bolsonaro has claimed Brazil’s digital voting machines are susceptible to fraud, although, like Trump, he by no means offered any proof. Bolsonaro has constantly trailed former President Luiz Inacio da Silva, referred to as Lula, within the polls forward of the election.

Bolsonaro additionally started expressing a need for better involvement of the armed forces in election oversight. Last week, military officers visited the electoral authority’s headquarters to examine the supply codes of voting machines. Bolsonaro has alleged that a number of the authority’s high officers are working in opposition to him.

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At the regulation faculty on Thursday, Carlos Silveira carried an indication that learn: “The military doesn’t count votes.”

“We are here because it is riskier not to do anything,” mentioned Silveira, 43. “Bolsonaro has suggested a big anti-democratic act before the election, and the military has remained on his side, it seems. We want to show them we are the majority, and that our quest for democracy will win.”

When Bolsonaro launched his marketing campaign, he known as on supporters to flood the streets for the September 7 Independence Day celebrations. On that date final yr, he declared earlier than tens of 1000’s who rallied at his behest that solely God can take away him from energy.

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