Election in Brazil: compromising revelations in Bolsonaro’s entourage

The ex-Minister of Justice of Jair Bolsonaro, currently in the United States, was expected Friday on a firm footing by the Brazilian authorities after the discovery of a draft decree which could have allowed the cancellation of the election of Lula to the presidency.

This very compromising document revealed Thursday evening by the daily Folha de S. Paulo was found during searches by the Federal Police at the home of this former minister, Anderson Torres, who is the subject of an arrest warrant from a Supreme Court judge for alleged “collusion” in the Bolsonarists who stormed places of power in Brasilia on Sunday.

“We are going to wait for him to appear until Monday. If this is not the case, next week we will launch the procedure for requesting his extradition”, announced Friday Flavio Dino, Minister of Justice of the President of left Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, in office since January 1.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Brasilia, January 12, 2023 (AFP – Sergio Lima)

Mr. Torres has repeatedly proclaimed his innocence and promised to return to Brazil to surrender to the authorities, without giving a specific date.

The three-page document found at his home provides for the federal government to take control of the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE), which oversees the smooth running of the ballot, “to ensure the preservation and restoration of transparency, and to approve the regularity of the electoral process for the presidential election of 2022”.

A measure considered unconstitutional by many jurists. In practice, that means the intention would have been to nullify the election of Lula, who beat far-right President Jair Bolsonaro by a narrow margin on October 30.

– “Link in a putschist chain” –

According to La Folha de S. Paulo, which revealed the scandal, this draft could be the first irrefutable piece of evidence that Jair Bolsonaro’s entourage was preparing a coup in the event of defeat.

The presidential decree – which never saw the light of day – provided for the creation of an “electoral regulation commission” to replace the TSE, headed by a majority of members from the Ministry of Defense (8 out of 17).

Brazilian Minister of Justice and Public Security Flavio Dino holds up a copy of the Constitution, in Brasilia, on January 13, 2023 (AFP - Sergio Lima)
Brazilian Minister of Justice and Public Security Flavio Dino holds up a copy of the Constitution, in Brasilia, on January 13, 2023 (AFP – Sergio Lima)

The document is not dated, but the name of Jair Bolsonaro is at the end, on a space provided for his signature.

“While 33 million people were suffering from hunger, they were preparing a coup,” left-wing senator Randolfe Rodrigues, leader of the Lula government’s parliamentary bloc in the upper house, tweeted on Friday.

“It shows that what we saw on January 8 (the invasion of places of power in Brasilia) was not an isolated act. (The draft decree) is one of the links in a putschist chain”, had already declared Flavio Dino on Thursday evening.

– Incredible expenses –

Federal police told AFP they could not comment on an ongoing investigation.

Mr Torres, who is in the United States, said Thursday evening on Twitter that this draft was “probably in a pile of documents supposed to be destroyed in due course”, that its contents have been leaked and are deemed “out of order”. its context”.

He was already on American soil when several thousand Bolsonarists invaded and ransacked the Presidential Palace, Congress and the Supreme Court in the Brazilian capital on Sunday.

A security guard walks on January 10, 2023 in Brasilia amid damage caused by rioters inside the Supreme Court (AFP - CARL DE SOUZA)
A security guard walks on January 10, 2023 in Brasilia amid damage caused by rioters inside the Supreme Court (AFP – CARL DE SOUZA)

The former minister had held the position of head of security for the Federal District of Brasilia since January 2, but had gone on vacation shortly after.

Brazilian news was also marked by other embarrassing revelations about Jair Bolsonaro’s mandate: incredible expenses with the presidential credit card, such as the 20,000 euros spent in one go in a modest restaurant in northern Brazil or the 10,000 euros in a bakery the day after her son’s wedding.

Account statements for the presidential credit card over his four years in office (2019-2022) have been published on an official online site of the Lula government, which has begun to lift a secrecy imposed for 100 years by his predecessor on accounts. thousands of official documents.

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