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Electoral judge chastises leader of Bolsonaro’s party for fraud claim

Benedito Gonçalves, Brazil’s electoral ombudsman, rebuked on Friday an attempt by the chairman of President Jair Bolsonaro’s Liberal Party to evade responsibility for a document that challenges Brazil’s electoral integrity, and claims fraud.

The two-page document was initially leaked to weekly magazine Veja and later published by pro-Bolsonaro politicians. Although it bears the Liberal Party’s logo, it is not signed by any specific person.

The document contains several false allegations of fraud. It alleges that there is no “external control” over the voting machine’s source code, which is demonstrably false: the source code was available for inspection for a year before the elections.

The text also states that there are “no technical instruments” to audit the votes. In reality, each machine prints a public bulletin that both the military and the Federal Accounts Court will inspect this Sunday.

Chairman Valdemar Costa Neto told the Electoral Court that a “technical staff member” hired by his party is the sole responsible for the document.

Justice Gonçalves rebuked him, stating that the report was produced and disclosed by the Liberal Party, with the participation of its top brass.

Taking the page from Donald Trump’s playbook – who endorsed him this Saturday – President Bolsonaro is certain to challenge Lula to victory in this election.

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