Insider

Top electoral judge is a “son of a bitch” says Bolsonaro

Jair Bolsonaro meeting with supporters this afternoon in Joinville, Santa Catarina
Jair Bolsonaro meeting with supporters this afternoon in Joinville, Santa Catarina. Photo: Alan Santos/PR

Amid a long-standing war of words between Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro and the judiciary, the head of state directly insulted Supreme Court Justice Luís Roberto Barroso this afternoon, calling him a “son of a bitch.” Justice Barroso is the current head of Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court, in charge of organizing the country’s elections.

The video was posted during an event in the southern Brazilian city of Joinville, where the president met supporters. At one point in the footage, Mr. Bolsonaro can be overheard talking about “that son of a bitch Barroso.” The video was later deleted.

Mr. Bolsonaro is locked in a personal crusade to alter Brazil’s electoral system, making repeated claims that the current electronic voting format is susceptible to fraud, without providing any evidence to this end. His plan is to approve a law reinstating paper ballots to the country’s electoral system, alleging that would make elections “auditable.”

The president has gone as far as saying that he would not allow the 2022 election to take place unless paper ballots are reintroduced, which has understandably drawn the ire of the country’s Supreme Court.