Brasilia: The head of Brazil’s electoral court, Alexandre de Moraes, has rejected a complaint from President Jair Bolsonaro’s allies to challenge the presidential election result, according to a court document.

Leftist ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva narrowly defeated Bolsonaro in the October 30 run-off vote, marking a stunning comeback for the leftist former president and the end of the country’s most right-wing government in decades. Lula’s margin of victory was less than two percentage points.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.Credit:AP

Moraes, who serves as a Supreme Court justice, also fined the parties in Bolsonaro’s coalition to the tune of 22.9 million reais ($6.3 million) for what the court described as bad faith litigation, the document showed.

On Tuesday, Bolsonaro’s Liberal Party (PL) filed a complaint to challenge the outcome of the election claiming some electronic voting machines were flawed and those votes should be invalidated, an argument that election authorities met with scepticism.

Under the terms of Wednesday’s electoral court decision, political funds for the president’s coalition parties were ordered blocked until the fine is paid. The ruling also ordered an investigation into any misuse of the party’s structure and funds by party head Valdemar da Costa Neto.

In the ruling, Moraes described the challenge as “offensive” to democratic norms, adding that it sought to encourage criminal and anti-democratic movements.

“Offensive”: Brazilian Supreme Court Minister Alexandre de Moraes on the Brazilian president’s attempt to annul part of the votes.Credit:Agencia Brasil

“The ballot boxes generate files that make it possible to identify precisely which equipment they were generated on. When one of these mechanisms stops working, others replace it, without affecting its traceability and the possibility of identifying ballot boxes,” according to the decision.

Election experts and political analysts blasted the election challenge from Bolsonaro allies as weak on the merits, though it could still fire up supporters who have been protesting his defeat at the polls.

Some of those “patriot” supporters even gathered in the southern city of Porto Alegre two days ago for a bizarre SOS session involving mobile phones and a supposed extra-terrestrial connection with lights emanating from the sky.

Reuters

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