Brazil’s outgoing president Jair Bolsonaro has filed a petition with Brazilian election authorities formally challenging the results of this year’s hotly contested presidential vote.
Bolsonaro narrowly lost a runoff last month to leftist rival Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, popularly known as “Lula,” who will be sworn in as president on January 1.
Since then, Bolsonaro has stopped short of explicitly acknowledging that he lost, but has previously said he will “continue to fulfill all the commandments of the constitution,” leading observers to believe he would cooperate with the transfer of power.
But in the petition filed 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 voided.
Citing analysis by a company hired by Bolsonaro’s party, the complaint claims that eliminating those votes would give Bolsonaro victory.
In response to Bolsonaro’s request, election authorities said that because the same voting machines were used in the first round of the election, Bolsonaro and his party must amend their complaint to include those results because the process may go through the courts, CNN affiliate. Brazil reported.
Alexandre Moraes, president of the Supreme Electoral Court, has given Bolsonaro and his petitioners 24 hours to modify their presentation.
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 electoral authority’s final count, the most in Brazilian history and breaking his own record from 2006.