Bolsonaro “Announces Coup” To Foreign Ambassadors

Jair Bolsonaro has been accused of “announcing the coup” to summoned foreign Ambassadors. The extraordinary meeting at Alvorada palace was reportedly convened at the request of the Military core in his government, which is increasingly seen as the genuine power running Brazil, is demanding the right to run its own parallel vote count, and has been a central actor in the breakdown of Brazil’s democracy since the 2014 election. The attacks on Brazil’s electoral process amount to a third phase of the coup which was initiated with the removal of president Dilma Rousseff in 2016.

Bolsonaro told Ambassadors that, if electoral legislation was not changed, he was powerless to prevent the consequences, and that the October election, in which he trails former president Lula by up to 20%, may not go ahead.

According to Political scientist Luiz Eduardo Soares the far right president should be deposed and arrested for his latest public remarks. Others say that they leave him ineligible for the presidency.

By Ivan Longo for Revista Forum

Anthropologist and political scientist Luiz Eduardo Soares, in a text which viralised on social media this Monday (18), considers that the meeting of Jair Bolsonaro (PL) with foreign ambassadors constitutes an announcement of a coup to the world.

In the presentation to diplomatic representatives, the president repeated conspiracy theories, already debunked, about fraud at the polls, attacked ministers of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) and Superior Electoral Court (TSE), and made putschist statements regarding threats to the holding of elections this year.

“The coup was officially announced today and to the world. The situation has never been so serious. In the US, Trump announced in advance that he would not accept the election result (if he lost). Bolsonaro has just declared that if the electoral legislation in force is maintained, there will be no elections. He spoke in the first person plural, referring to the Armed Forces. This declaration of war against the TSE and the Law, the Constitution, took place inside the Palace, with official transmission live, in front of the summoned Ambassadors”, wrote Soares.

According to the anthropologist, “Bolsonaro should be deposed and arrested.” “This is not going to happen, which demonstrates that we no longer live under the democratic rule of law. If society were mobilized and fully aware of what is happening, tomorrow there would be a general strike and millions of people would take to the streets across the country. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.” 

“So all we can do is mobilize what we can, bring together the opposition and civil society organizations. All of them. The universities must stop. Anyone who can stop, must stop. Now. Not one more step back or the triumph of the coup, already imminent, will be certain and irreversible”, he concludes.

Opposition reaction

Opposition to the Bolsonaro government in Congress will file an action against the president on account of lies spread about the Brazilian electoral system in the meeting with foreign ambassadors.

Senator Randolfe Rodrigues (Rede-AP) is one of the parliamentarians who announced the action against Bolsonaro. A coordinator of Lula’s pre-campaign (PT) for the presidency, Randolfe announced that he will appeal to the TSE, pointing out irregular electoral propaganda by Bolsonaro and requesting the condemnation of the PL, the president’s party, so that an erratum is made to deny “the terms of the statements by their candidate on public TV”.

“Furthermore, we are going to ask for the PL’s Condemnation to waste the time of its electoral propaganda equivalent to that spent by the pre-candidate in spreading attacks and untrue information about electronic voting machines! Enough of letting Bolsonaro mess up our democracy!” wrote the senator.

Minority leader in the Chamber of Deputies, Alencar Santana Braga (PT-SP), in turn, announced that opposition parties will denounce Bolsonaro to the Supreme Court for discrediting the electoral system and also using public TV to spread lies about it.

Bolsonaro ineligible?

By using TV Brasil, a public broadcaster, to disseminate false information about the Brazilian electoral system, during the meeting with foreign ambassadors, Bolsonaro commited an electoral crime and may be impeached if reelected, or even become ineligible to run.

This assessment comes from Renato Ribeiro de Almeida, a lawyer specializing in electoral law. To Fórum, Almeida explained that Bolsonaro’s attitude in questioning the reliability of electronic voting machines, attacking STF and TSE ministers and his main opponent, former president Lula (PT), in a meeting with ambassadors broadcast by a media outlet social media, is similar to the case of former state deputy Fernando Francischini, who had his mandate revoked for spreading the same types of lies through social networks.

“There is a possibility [in Bolsonaro’s meeting with ambassadors broadcast on TV Brasil] of abuse of the media. through social networks”, says the lawyer.

According to Almeida, there is an “aggravating factor” in Bolsonaro’s case because “it is a public TV, therefore public resources, which were used to spread lies, attacks on opponents, especially Lula, the electoral system, ministers, promoting, especially in the face of ambassadors, fake news and promoting disorder in the country”.

“We have a situation that, as unusual as it may be, can have consequences, including cancellation of an eventual second term and also ineligibility for 8 years”.