Minister tells TSE that he will indicate names of military personnel to inspect ballot boxes

Decision took the Court by surprise as there is no precedent in the Electoral Justice

José Cruz/Agência BrasilTSE facade
Request sent to TSE was received with surprise

Defense Minister Paulo Sérgio Nogueira sent a new letter on the night of this Monday, 20th, to the president of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), Edson Fachinin which he informs that he will forward names of military technicians to act as representatives of the Armed forces in the supervision of electronic voting machines. According to a TSE server, the document sent by the Ministry was received with surprise, as there is no precedent in the history of the electoral justice. Earlier, Nogueira had already called the Court to request a private meeting between officers from the three Forces and Electoral Justice employees that will address the Defense proposals for this year’s elections. In the document sent to Fachin, the Defense Minister says that “the participation of the Armed Forces as an inspection entity for the electronic voting system” will take place “jointly”, through a team of military technicians that the Ministry will be responsible for appointing. Electoral legislation provides for the participation of the military as supervisors of elections and auditors of ballot boxes. The function, however, is shared with dozens of institutions, such as the Federal Police, the Brazilian Bar Association, Congress and the Federal Supreme Court.

The Defense Minister also requested that the TSE appoint a court servant “to act as a point of contact” with the military, “in order to facilitate the coordination of actions that effect the aforementioned participation”. The Ministry’s demands came even before Fachin responded to the request for a meeting between the institutions’ technicians. The relationship between the Armed Forces and the Electoral Justice has deteriorated since the Defense representative on the Electoral Transparency Commission (CTE) in the Court, General Heber Garcia Portella, began to reproduce the speech of President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) in more than 88 questions sent to the court. During a meeting this Monday with members of the CTE, Fachin said that the politician who doubts his voter is not worthy of the mandate he exercises and dishonors the history of democracy. For the magistrate, those who cast doubt on the electoral system, in fact, question the choices of voters. “The Electoral Justice is prepared to conduct the 2022 Elections in a clean and transparent way, as it has been doing for the last 90 years”, said the minister.

Despite the firmness of the statements, Fachin has sought to relax the relationship with the military. Last Friday, the 17th, he sent a letter to the Minister of Defense, Paulo Sergio Nogueira, reiterating the invitation for General Portella to attend this Monday’s meeting. Shortly before the meeting, Nogueira replied to the president of the TSE that the representative of the Armed Forces would participate in the event, but reinforced the request made to the Court that a private meeting be held between the military technicians and the Electoral Justice to deal with the Defense proposals on the elections this year. The Ministry of Defense had already requested, last week, a meeting between the technicians of the institutions to “settle any disagreements”.

*With information from Estadão Content

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