May 26, 2024

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Brazilian Jair Bolsonaro has been banned from running for office for 8 years

Andressa Anholet/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Jair Bolsonaro, the former Brazilian president, said he would appeal the decision.


Brazil’s highest electoral court banned former President Jair Bolsonaro from running for political office until 2030, after he was found guilty of crimes. Abuse of his power and misuse of public media during last year’s election campaign.

Five out of seven judges found the former president guilty, effectively ending any hope of a political comeback in the upcoming 2026 election. Two judges voted against the decision, which bars Bolsonaro from running for public office for eight years.

The case stems from a meeting Bolsonaro had with foreign ambassadors in July 2022, in which he spread false information about Brazil’s electoral system and raised questions about his credibility ahead of last year’s thorny elections. The meeting was broadcast live on official television channels and on YouTube.

YouTube removed the live stream of the event for not complying with its fake news policy.

Judge Alexandre de Moraes, who presided over the court, cast his vote in the end. “Let’s reaffirm our faith in our democracy and the rule of law,” he said after voting in favor of the guilty verdict.

Moraes added that by voting, Brazilian authorities will show that they do not tolerate “criminal extremism that attacks state authorities, fake news and disinformation in an attempt to deceive voters.”

Bolsonaro has denied any wrongdoing. Speaking to Brazilian radio station Itatiaia on Friday, Bolsonaro said he plans to appeal the court’s decision.

The far-right politician lost the election by the narrowest margin in decades to incumbent President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Riots on 8 January saw pro-Bolsonaro protesters storm government buildings in Brasília, after weeks of demonstrations over the election results.

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the case In the Supreme Electoral Court a lawsuit filed by the Brazilian Democratic Workers Party against both Bolsonaro and Walter Braga Neto, his deputy in the 2022 elections. The majority of the judges voted to find Braga Neto not guilty.

During the meeting with the ambassadors, the former president allegedly said the 2022 elections could be jeopardized by fraud, according to a report by Judge Benedetto Gonçalves.

Bolsonaro also allegedly said that in 2018 voting machines altered voters’ choices in favor of his opponent, and that Brazilian voting machines are not auditable, while implying that electoral and judicial authorities were protecting “terrorists,” the report added.

Brazilian electoral authorities have denied such allegations of flaws in the electoral system.

The case in the Supreme Electoral Court is one of several against the former president.