Combative Justice Takes Over Brazil Electoral Court Before Vote

  • In Business
  • 2022-08-17 01:28:20Z
  • By Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes was sworn in as head of Brazil's electoral court Tuesday in a ceremony attended by dignitaries including President Jair Bolsonaro just weeks ahead of what's expected to be a hotly contested election.

Most Read from Bloomberg

  • Saudi Billionaire Made $500 Million Russia Bet at War Onset

  • 'Next Generation' Moderna Coronavirus Booster Jab Approved for Use in Adults

  • These Six Cities Are Emerging as New Expat Hot Spots

  • America's $7 Trillion Retirement Crisis Is Only Getting Worse

  • Wells Fargo Plans Major Retreat From Mortgage Business It Long Dominated

Moraes takes over the electoral court, known as the TSE, at a challenging time. The judge has had to open numerous probes of social media campaigns aimed at undermining faith and confidence in the integrity of the electronic voting system Brazilians will use in October's general election.

In his remarks at the ceremony, Moraes alluded to those same attacks, often egged on by Bolsonaro himself at public appearances and on social media, commenting at one point that that "freedom of expression is not freedom of aggression."

Still, in a sign that both men may be open to a truce, the president personally attended the ceremony. Also present were his leftist challenger, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, as well as several former heads of state, other presidential candidates, government officials and central bank chief Roberto Campos Neto.

Moraes's task won't be easy. In his efforts to uphold the credibility of the election's result, he's fighting an army of Bolsonaro's supporters who repeatedly spread falsehoods about electronic ballots on social media, often led by the president himself. Many Brazilian watchers worry the incumbent is laying the ground to mimic Donald Trump and challenge the election's result in case he's defeated.

"We are the only democracy in the world that calculates and publishes electoral results on the same day with agility, security, competence and transparency," Moraes said in a speech applauded by most of the audience, except Bolsonaro and members of his cabinet.

As a top court justice and now the head of the electoral authority, Moraes has a broad range of tools at his disposal. Among them, he leads what's widely known in Brazil as the Fake News Inquiry, an investigation into lies and threats against the justices and their families.

Read More: Bolsonaro's Brawl With a Top Justice Tests Brazil's Democracy

Moraes had already sent some of Bolsonaro's top backers to jail. He sentenced congressman Daniel Silveira to prison for posting a video on social media threatening the justices, although the next day Bolsonaro granted his ally a presidential pardon. The justice also briefly banned Telegram, a social-media service often used by Bolsonaro's supporters.

Bracing for a possible showdown, Bolsonaro has constantly targeted Moraes and other fellow top justices during public speeches, even saying that he would not comply with his decisions.

Yet last week both men met at the presidential palace, and Moraes personally invited Bolsonaro to his swearing in ceremony in an apparent attempt to reduce animosity between them.

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

  • Whole Foods' Battle Against Black Lives Matter Masks Has Much Higher Stakes

  • Andreessen Horowitz Thinks It's Time for Adam Neumann to Build

  • Chinese Shun Debt and Pile Up Savings, Threatening Global Growth Engine

  • Being Thrown Off Social Media Was Supposed to End Alex Jones's Career. It Made Him Even Richer

  • London Lures Top Facebook Executives

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.


More Related News

Pound Bounces From Record With Traders Turning Sights to BOE
Pound Bounces From Record With Traders Turning Sights to BOE

(Bloomberg) -- The pound pared its losses against the dollar after earlier hitting a record low, amid speculation the Bank of England will respond to the...

Traders Who
Traders Who 'Just Want to Survive' Sit on $5 Trillion Cash Pile

(Bloomberg) -- From stocks to bonds, credit to crypto, money managers looking for somewhere to hide from the Federal Reserve induced storm battering...

Morgan Stanley Dealmaker Joins Tencent-Backed Airwallex, Sources Say
Morgan Stanley Dealmaker Joins Tencent-Backed Airwallex, Sources Say

(Bloomberg) -- Airwallex, a payment platform startup, is hiring Morgan Stanley's head of Southeast Asia technology investment banking, according to people...

China, North Korea Restore Rail Link on Kim
China, North Korea Restore Rail Link on Kim's Key Trade Route
  • World
  • 2022-09-26 08:48:54Z

(Bloomberg) -- China is reopening its main train route with North Korea after a five-month hiatus due to Covid, bringing a potential boost to Kim Jong Un's...

Binance Seeks Permit to Return to Japan Market After 4 Years
Binance Seeks Permit to Return to Japan Market After 4 Years

(Bloomberg) -- Binance, the world's biggest cryptocurrency exchange, is seeking a license to operate in Japan, four years after retreating from the country...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Business