The harsh speech and the continuous abuses of former President Jair Bolsonaro against the electoral system and democracy in the campaign for the 2022 elections have cost him his political rights, suspended this Friday for eight years by the Brazilian Justice.
The far-right leader has been declared “ineligible” by the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE), which found him guilty of a series of “abuses of power” committed in his double role as acting president and candidate for re-election for elections won by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and whose result he refused to recognize.
The suspension of his political rights will prevent him from running for elective office or positions in the public administration until October 2030, when he will be 75 years old.
The decision, adopted by five votes to two, accepted a complaint filed by the Democratic Labor Party, which was based on a controversial meeting called by Bolsonaro on July 18 of last year, just over three months before the elections, with fifty foreign ambassadors.
The meeting was held at the official residence of the presidency and was broadcast on public television by express order of the then president, who in a nearly one-hour monologue sowed doubts about the electoral system, the judiciary and Brazilian democracy itself, according to was reflected in the sentence.
This fact, according to the TSE, constituted an “abuse of political power, prohibited conduct and information disorder”, as well as an “improper use of public property and media.”
However, it was also considered what the president of the TSE, Alexandre de Moraes, described as a “systematic disinformation campaign” that Bolsonaro carried out against the electoral Justice.
“These were not personal opinions,” as the defense maintained, De Moraes said, but “permanent and fraudulent lies” that aimed to “subvert and pervert” the electoral process and, with that, “democracy itself.”
Some judges went even further and said that Bolsonaro’s conduct could even encourage the assault on the three powers of the nation on January 8, when a horde of far-right activists sowed chaos with the intention of taking the Armed Forces to overthrow Lula.
However, the Minister of Justice, Flávio Dino, announced that he will evaluate the possibility of demanding compensation from Bolsonaro, via the courts, for his attacks “on the justice system and the legal order.”
In it Workers Party (PT)led by Lula, the ruling was considered a “condemnation of the methods of the extreme right”, “the industrial dissemination of lies, threats to democracy and the use of public power to persecute opponents and prevail in the electoral dispute”.
Says it’s a “stab in the back”
“Recently I received a stab in the belly and now they stabbed me in the back with political disqualification,” Jair Bolsonaro said after the sentence, alluding to the attack he suffered during the 2018 electoral campaign.
He added that he is not “dead” and that he will evaluate with his lawyers the possibilities of appeal the decision before the TSE and the Supreme Court.