Bolsonaro ‘is threatening the pillars of Brazilian democracy’, says Human Rights Watch | World

President Jair Bolsonaro is threatening the pillars of Brazilian democracy, says Human Rights Watch in a document released this Wednesday (15th), International Day of Democracy.

The non-governmental organization emphasizes that the Brazilian government does this through his attacks on the Supreme Court, his constant threats to the 2022 elections and the violation of the freedom of expression of his critics.

The president’s September 7 speech, in which he nominally attacked STF ministers, said that “we cannot admit” the maintenance of the existing electoral system and that there could not be “elections that cast doubt on voters” was cited as a more recent example of their undemocratic acts.

“President Bolsonaro, an apologist for the military dictatorship in Brazil, is increasingly hostile to the democratic system of checks and balances,” says José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch.

“He is using a mixture of insults and threats to intimidate the Supreme Court, which is responsible for conducting investigations into his conduct, and with his baseless allegations of electoral fraud he appears to be laying the groundwork for trying to cancel next year’s elections or contest the decision. of the population if he is not reelected”, he adds.

In a coup-like tone, Bolsonaro attacked STF ministers in Brasília and SP — Photo: Deividi Correa/Estadão Conteúdo

The document reminds that, not coincidentally, the main targets of the president are ministers in charge of carrying out actions that involve his name.

Alexandre de Moraes, for example, is at the head of the Federal Police’s investigations into his possible illegal interference in the PF’s internal appointments in order to promote his personal interests, the leak of a confidential PF document for political reasons and the dissemination of false information about the electoral system.

In his threats, Bolsonaro even threatened to react outside the “four lines” of the Constitution, the NGO emphasizes, and sent to the Senate a request for impeachment of Minister Alexandre de Moraes, something unprecedented since democracy was restored in Brazil in 1985 (the request was rejected by the president of the Senate).

Already in his crusade against the 2022 elections, in which he intends to run for reelection, the president uses unfounded allegations of fraud in the last two presidential elections – including the one he won – and also in the 2020 elections in the US, which have already been proven to be denied.

The Human Rights Watch document recalls that, in January, President Bolsonaro said that, unless the electoral system is changed, Brazil will have “a worse problem than the United States”, where, according to him, there was electoral fraud in the elections. 2020 – a false claim. And in July, he threatened: “we run the risk of not having elections next year.”

“President Bolsonaro’s threats to cancel the elections and act outside the constitution in response to investigations against him are reckless and dangerous,” adds Vivanco. “The international community must send a clear message to President Bolsonaro that the independence of the judiciary means that the courts are not subject to his orders.”