BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil is at risk of facing a more serious incident than the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, said the head of the country’s Electoral Court, Edson Fachin, on Wednesday ahead of the presidential election in October.
His remarks follow the latest polls that show Brazil’s far-right President, Jair Bolsonaro, trailing behind former leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva ahead of the elections.
Bolsonaro has cast doubts on the voting system, without evidence, going as far as threatening to reject an unfavorable outcome in the elections.
“We may experience an episode even more severe than the January 6 (attack) on the Capitol,” Fachin said in a presentation at the Wilson Center in Washington.
Fachin also warned he will not accept any interference in the electoral process. The involvement of Brazil’s armed forces in the presidential race has to be cooperative and must never be interfering, he said.
Earlier this year, the electoral court created a transparency commission with representatives of several public institutions, including the military, to ensure greater security for the voting process.
Military leaders have broadly said the armed forces will respect any election result. Still, some military officials have echoed Bolsonaro’s comments about potential weaknesses in Brazil’s voting system.
“Evidently, we will not accept this type of circumstance. Collaboration yes, intervention never,” Fachin said.
(Reporting by Ricardo Brito; Writing by Peter Frontini; Editing by Chris Reese)