Whereas the election is over, there stays the priority for the well being of one of many world’s largest democracies. President Jair Bolsonaro has spent years attacking Brazil’s democratic institutions, together with a sustained effort to undermine its voting system, main thousands and thousands of Brazilians to lose faith in the integrity of their nation’s elections.
Now, a lot of the nation is questioning: Will he accept his defeat?
Sunday’s vote cut up this nation of 217 million individuals almost down the center, with many citizens on either side viewing the selection as an existential one for the nation.
But within the aftermath of the vote that ousted Mr. Bolsonaro after only one time period, there was little quick signal that the president’s allies and supporters would mount an effort to dispute the outcomes.
Far-right lawmakers who had warned of fraud prior to now immediately recognized Mr. da Silva because the president-elect. Outstanding conservative pundits referred to as Mr. da Silva an ex-convict and corrupt, however didn’t declare the election was rigged. And plenty of of Mr. Bolsonaro’s supporters on the streets of Rio de Janeiro, whereas shouting about fraud basically, cleared out of a gathering outdoors the president’s apartment in Rio de Janeiro to return to their properties dejected.
As of 11 p.m. native time, Mr. Bolsonaro had but to concede or publicly handle the nation.
The shut race, excessive stakes and deep polarization led to an unpleasant election marketing campaign. Misinformation has soared in current weeks, with supporters of Mr. da Silva accusing Mr. Bolsonaro of being a cannibal and a pedophile, whereas Mr. Bolsonaro’s supporters have referred to as Mr. da Silva a gang chief, a communist and a Satanist who needs to shut the nation’s church buildings.
Election officers tried to intervene, ordering posts and movies off the web that they stated had been false. These efforts slowed the deluge of deceptive data, however in addition they grew to become their very own controversy, drawing a swell of complaints of unfair refereeing, notably from Mr. Bolsonaro and his allies.
Final 12 months, Mr. Bolsonaro instructed his supporters there have been solely three outcomes to the election: He wins, he’s killed or he’s arrested. He then added, “Inform the bastards I’ll by no means be arrested.”
That form of rhetoric raised alarms that Mr. Bolsonaro wouldn’t settle for the outcomes. He was one of many final world leaders to acknowledge President Biden’s victory in 2020, repeating former President Donald J. Trump’s false claims that the election was stolen, together with just two days earlier than his first assembly with Mr. Biden earlier this 12 months.
There isn’t any credible proof of fraud in Brazil’s digital voting machines since they had been launched in 1996. But Mr. Bolsonaro has questioned the system for years.
Earlier this 12 months, his criticism of the system took on new gravity when Brazil’s military joined in. Leaders of the armed forces pushed election officers for adjustments to the system, rattling a rustic that suffered beneath a army dictatorship from 1964 to 1985.
However ultimately army and election officers agreed to a change to some tests of the voting machines on Election Day, and army leaders have since instructed they’re glad with the system’s safety.
In current weeks, army leaders additionally stated privately that they might not assist any efforts by Mr. Bolsonaro to problem the outcomes.
On Friday, in an interview after the ultimate debate, Mr. Bolsonaro was requested immediately whether or not he would settle for the vote’s outcomes, no matter end result.
“There’s little question,” he stated. “Whoever will get extra votes, takes it. That’s democracy.”