Brazil President Bolsonaro disputes election loss to Lula

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Nov. 22 (UPI) — Brazil’s outgoing president Jair Bolsonaro is calling for votes to be thrown out, citing a voting machine malfunction in last month’s election.

Bolsonaro was defeated by former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva by a narrow 50.9% to 49.1% margin in a runoff election. Bolsonaro has not conceded despite the nation’s electoral authority announcing the victory of Lula, and many of Bolsonaro’s Liberal Party members accepting the result.

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The current president, whose term will end at the end of the year, alleges a software bug in electronic voting machines should constitute votes made on those machines being thrown out. If this were to happen, Bolsonaro would have 51% of the remaining votes, according to Bloomberg.

The Liberal Party audited the machines in question and found that about 59% of them did not have an individual identification number. It was not explained why this would invalidate any votes or prove any susceptibility to fraud.

Wilson Ruggiero, a professor of computer engineering and digital systems at the Polytechnic School of the University of Sao Paulo, said the bug would not affect election results.

Lula, a leftist, will be sworn in as president on Jan. 1. His victory came after neither candidate was able to earn a majority of the vote during the first round of voting in early October.

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Brazil’s electoral court said the same voting machines were used in the first round of voting. If votes from the machines were annulled it could negatively impact the Liberal Party as well.

Bolsonaro is not alone in his opposition to the results of the election. Protests of the results are ongoing throughout the country.

“The current popular movements are the result of indignation and a feeling of injustice at how the electoral process took place,” Bolsonaro said.