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The last days before Brazil’s runoff election

On Monday night, President Bolsonaro’s Communications Minister, Fábio Faria, and campaign coordinator Fabio Wajngarten held an impromptu press conference outside the president’s office, to deliver bombastic information that could turn the election on its head.

They claimed that radio stations around Brazil had not been broadcasting mandatory free-to-air ads from Jair Bolsonaro’s campaign, alleging that over 150,000 30-second ads were not played.

The problem, however, is that they issued no proof to back up these allegations.

The complaint made to the Superior Electoral Court was quickly thrown out, with chief justice Alexandre de Moraes saying that the president’s campaign would have to come up with “serious evidence or documents.”

With only days to go until the crucial election runoff, President Bolsonaro has gone to great lengths to suggest electoral authorities are pushing the needle in favor of his opponent and the election favorite, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

It is true that the election is not taking place on a level playing field — but that is because President Bolsonaro is taking advantage of his power to use the Brazilian state as an electoral tool, often breaking the law in the process.

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  • Beatriz Rey is a columnist for The Brazilian Report. She is an SNF Now Visiting Fellow at Johns Hopkins University and an APSA Congressional Fellow (2021-2022) and holds a Ph.D. in political science from Syracuse University and an MA in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • Amanda Audi is the corresponding Brasilia for The Brazilian Report. She is the former executive director of Congresso em Foco and worked as a reporter for The Intercept Brasil, Folha de S. Paulo, O Globo, Gazeta do Povo, and Poder360, among others. In 2019, she won the Comunique-se Award for best-written media reporter and won the Mulher Imprensa award for web journalism in 2020.

This episode used music from Uppbeat. License codes: ZPBRN08JSELKNBYS, XJYFYM8ES2DZYBU2, OWYMGTOIXO3IC5F5, NSKF0FI3R2FOJ8IN.


Watch our special 2022 live broadcast. The Brazilian Report team hosted special guests on Election Day for a five-hour broadcast. Guests: Mario Sergio Lima (Medley Advisors), Mauricio Savarese (The Associated Press), Natalie Unterstell (Talanoa Institute).

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