President of BrazilControversy surrounds filter bans to keep left-wing voters out
Brazilian traffic police set up roadblocks in defiance of an electoral court ruling. Many Lula supporters delayed before the blockades were lifted.
The head of Brazil’s Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) announced on Sunday the lifting of filtering restrictions by the Federal Road Police (PRF) that “delayed the arrival of voters” at polling stations for the presidential election, while the left cried foul. . “It was decided to eliminate these measures in order to avoid voter delays” at the offices, Alexandre de Moraes, head of the TSE, told a press conference an hour before polling stations closed.
Leaders of the Workers’ Party (PT, left), especially former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s (2003-2010) electoral stronghold, posted several videos on social media of buses transporting voters to a standstill in rural areas of the Nordeste. “What is happening now in the Nordest is unacceptable,” lamented Lula, who won the poll, on his Telegram account.
But Alexandre de Moraes clarified that despite the delays, “no coach was returned and all voters were able to vote.”
The police chief called for a vote for Bolsonaro
On Saturday evening, the TSE decided to “prohibit any activity of the PRF that could harm the transport of voters” on Sunday. Gleisi Hoffmann, head of the PT, announced on Twitter that he called for the arrest of Silvini Vasque, the director of the PRF, for “not complying” with this decision of the TSE.
The latter is a highly controversial figure: on Sunday morning, he published a story on Instagram in which he called for a vote for far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, Lula’s opponent in the second round.
According to the “Folha de S. Paulo” newspaper, more than 500 filter barriers aimed at restricting buses were registered throughout the country in the afternoon, 70% more than in the first round on October 2. Nicolás Ferreira, who was recently elected vice-president with the best score of the assembly, on October 2, supported the traffic police for its role: “The PRF stops the certified trainers. Vote buying is an electoral crime. Kudos to PRF!”
According to analysts, non-voting in the country’s poorest areas is a factor that could prove decisive for the second round result. In the first round, Lula won 48% of the vote against Jair Bolsonaro with 43%. Political scientist Christian Lynch tweeted, “There’s a conspiracy afoot using the PRF to keep poor people from voting for Lula.”
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