Outgoing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has filed a petition with Brazil election authorities formally contesting the results of this year’s fiercely contested presidential vote.
Bolsonaro narrowly lost a run-off vote last month to leftist rival Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, popularly known as “Lula,” who is due to be inaugurated as president on January 1.
Since then Bolsonaro has stopped short of explicitly conceding that he lost, but has previously said he would “continue to fulfill all commandments of the constitution” – leading observers to believe that he would cooperate with the transfer of power.
But in the petition filed on Tuesday, Bolsonaro and the leader of his right-wing Liberal Party allege that some voting machines had malfunctioned and any votes cast through them should be annulled.
Citing analysis done by a company hired by Bolsonaro’s party, the complaint claims that removing those votes would hand Bolsonaro victory.
Responding to Bolsonaro’s petition, election authorities said that since the same voting machines were used in the first round of elections, Bolsonaro and his party must amend their complaint to include those results in order for the process to make its way through the courts, affiliate CNN Brasil reported.
Alexandre Moraes, chief justice of the Supreme Electoral Court, has given Bolsonaro and his petitioners 24 hours to amend their submission.
Last month’s heated election came amid a tense and polarized political climate in Brazil, which has been struggling with high inflation, limited growth and rising poverty.
Lula da Silva received more than 60 million votes – according to the election authority’s final tally – the most in Brazilian history and breaking his own record from 2006.