2022 Race

Brazil invites EU to oversee October elections

OAS observers during the 2020 municipal elections. Photo: Roberto Jayme/ASCOM/TSE
OAS observers during the 2020 municipal elections. Photo: Roberto Jayme/ASCOM/TSE

As something of an antidote to President Jair Bolsonaro’s repeated attempts to discredit Brazil’s 100-percent electronic systems, the country’s electoral authorities are inviting observers from multiple countries to attest that Brazilian elections are free and fair. 

Per Supreme Court Justice Edson Fachin, who presides over the Superior Electoral Court, the Commonwealth of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) was the first to accept the invitation. The group includes nations such as Portugal, Cape Verde, Angola, and East Timor.

Authorities also hope that the European Union will send representatives, which will be decided on by the bloc’s parliament. This is the first time Brazil has invited the EU to observe its elections.

The Organization of American States (OAS), the Carter Center, the Mercosur Parliament, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (Ifes), and the Interamerican Union of Electoral Bodies (Uniore) were also invited.

In more than two decades of use, the Brazilian system has never faced credible fraud allegations. Still, President Bolsonaro has tirelessly called the system “rigged,” despite the fact it did not prevent him from winning successive terms in Brazil’s lower house and, in 2018, comfortably triumphing in the presidential race.

Last year, the president made a failed push for the return of printed ballots to supplement electronic votes.