‘Trump of the tropics’ believes election was stolen

Supporters of Jair Bolsonaro carry the flag of Brazil and demonstrate in support of the president on November 2, 2022. Photo: Silvio Avila / AFP / NTB


On October 31, the eyes of the world were on Brazil.

Then the second and final round of the country’s presidential election took place, where incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro of the Partido Liberal was challenged by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of the Partido dos Trabalhadores, the workers’ party.

At first it looked like Bolsonaro had secured a narrow majority, but later that evening the vote count turned in Lula’s favor. Shortly after, Lula declared himself the winner of the election, while Bolsonaro retired from public view.


Lula was President of Brazil from 2003 to 2010. Then he became known for his social protection programs such as Bolsa Familia, cash support to poor families who send their children to school and have them vaccinated. At the same time, Lula was hated by part of the urban middle class, who believed that Lula’s reforms deprived them of their privileges.

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After several weeks in which Bolsonaro barely commented on the election result and only signaled that he wanted to cede power to Lula, Bolsonaro is now issuing a counter-opinion. Bolsonaro claims to have proven electoral fraud.

Yesterday, Bolsonaro’s lawyer, Marcelo de Bessa, filed a complaint with the Federal Electoral Court of Brazil. The dispute revolves around digital voting machines. Liberal Party leader Valdemar Costa Neto said he discovered that 280,000 machines, or 59% of machines, that date from before 2020 did not have an ID number in the internal log.

The party therefore wants all votes cast via the affected machines to be considered invalid. Electoral judge Alexandre de Moraes, for his part, will not deal with the complaint until the party delivers an adjusted report that also includes the results of the first round of the October 2 elections, writes NTB.

The case continues.

Jair Bolsonaro, pictured here on October 17, 2022 between the first and second rounds of elections, believes errors in voting machines mean large numbers of votes have to be discarded. Photo: Evaristo Sa/AFP/NTB

The media has obtained statements from a number of experts who explain that the absence of identification numbers on voting machines does not affect the results of the elections. It “doesn’t affect reliability or credibility in any way,” said one.

The party calculated that Bolsonaro would end up with 51% of the vote and would therefore have won the election if the allegedly invalid votes were nullified. In the second round of voting, Lula and Bolsonaro obtained 50.9 and 49.1% respectively.


Bolsonaro is informally known as the Trump of the tropics due to his personal and political similarities to fellow former President Donald Trump. Ahead of the Oct. 31 runoff, Trump said he hoped Bolsonaro would win.

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