Jack Nicas and
Jack Nicas and André Spigariol, correspondents in Brazil, spoke to more than 35 judges, generals, diplomats and government officials to understand the risk to Brazil’s election.
“BRASÍLIA — A simple but alarming question is dominating political discourse in Brazil with just six weeks left until national elections: Will President Jair Bolsonaro accept the results?
For months, Mr. Bolsonaro has attacked Brazil’s electronic voting machines as rife with fraud — despite virtually no evidence — and Brazil’s election officials as aligned against him. He has suggested that he would dispute any loss unless changes are made in election procedures. He has enlisted Brazil’s military in his battle. And he has told his tens of millions of supporters to prepare for a fight.
“If need be,” he said in a recent speech, “we will go to war.”
With its vote on Oct. 2, Brazil is now at the forefront of the growing global threats to democracy, fueled by populist leaders, extremism, highly polarized electorates and internet disinformation. The world’s fourth-largest democracy is bracing for the possibility of its president refusing to step down because of fraud allegations that could be difficult to disprove.”