U.S., Brazilian lawmakers stand in solidarity against attempts to overturn elections

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Jan. 12 (UPI) — In a stand against far-right extremist attempts to undermine democracy, more than 70 U.S. and Brazilian politicians are condemning efforts to overturn elections results in both countries.

In a statement released Wednesday night by Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Min., the lawmakers condemned Sunday’s attack by supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on the presidential palace, Congress and Supreme Court, and the Jan. 6, 2021, attack by supporters of former U.S. President Donald Trump on the U.S. Congress.

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“As lawmakers in Brazil and the United States, we stand united against the efforts by authoritarian, anti-democratic far-right actors to overturn legitimate election results and overthrow our democracies,” the lawmakers said.

The legislators also accused supporters of both presidents of coordinating efforts to attack Brazil’s democracy.

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In the statement, they said that following Brazil’s Oct. 30 election, which was won by Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Brazilian congressman and Jair Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo Bolsonaro met with Trump and his former aides, Jason Miller and Steven Bannon.

The lawmakers said the U.S. citizens encouraged Jair Bolsonaro to contest the election results in Brazil, which he did while attempting to invalidate thousands of votes.

“Democracies rely on the peaceful transfer of power. Just as far-right extremists are coordinating their efforts to undermine democracy, we must stand united in our efforts to protect it,” the lawmakers said. “In order to save democracy in our two countries and around the world, we urge all elected officials in our two countries, regardless of party, to join our calls.”

The lawmakers said all those involved in the efforts to undermine democracy should be held accountable.

Sunday’s siege in Brazil had already drew comparisons to the Jan. 6 attack on Congress, which was an attempt to prevent the certification of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States, and resulted in more than $1.5 million in damages.

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At least five people were killed in the attack on the U.S. Congress, and more than 950 people have been arrested in connection.

During the attack in Brazil on Sunday, rioters vandalized offices and the presidential palace following the inauguration of Lula da Silva. Some 1,200 people have already been arrested for their involvement, authorities have said.

Both attacks are said to have been fueled by the rhetoric of the defeated presidents who challenged the results.

Jair Bolsonaro has been in Florida since late December, and said Monday that he had been hospitalized in Orlando after undergoing surgery in relation to a 2018 stabbing incident.

His presence in the United States has attracted condemnation from some Democratic lawmakers who have called for the former president to be extradited to Brazil in order to be held accountable for Sunday’s riots.

The United States with Canada and Mexico earlier this week condemned the attack on Brazil’s democracy, stating they stand with the its elected leaders.

“Our governments support the free will of the people of Brazil,” Biden said in a joint statement with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “We look forward to working with President Lula on delivering for our countries, the Western Hemisphere and beyond.”

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Supporters of President Donald Trump riot against the Electoral College vote count on January 6, 2021, in protest of Trump’s loss to President-elect Joe Biden, prompting a lockdown of the Capitol Building. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo