On July 18, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro gave a presentation to a group of ambassadors in which he attacked the Brazilian electronic ballot box system as well as the authorities conducting the election process. This presentation resulted in international condemnation, with the most significant and harshest reaction coming from the U.S. government.
In a statement published in Portuguese, the U.S. Embassy said that “Brazilian elections, conducted and tested over time by the electoral system and democratic institutions, serve as a model for the nations of the hemisphere and the world. The United States trusts in the strength of Brazilian democratic institutions. The country has a strong track record of free and fair elections, with transparency and high levels of voter participation.”
The note also goes on to say that Americans are “confident that the 2022 Brazilian elections will reflect the will of the electorate,” in direct response to Bolsonaro’s insinuations that the outcome of this year’s presidential race could be rigged. “Brazilian citizens and institutions continue to demonstrate their deep commitment to democracy. As Brazilians trust their electoral system, Brazil will once again show the world the enduring strength of its democracy.”
The American press in general reacted badly to Bolsonaro’s statements at the meeting with ambassadors. The New York Times compared the Brazilian president’s strategy to that adopted by former President Donald Trump, who, without any evidence, discredited the 2020 American presidential election following his defeat by Joe Biden — which culminated in Trump supporters invading the Capitol.
The Washington Post pointed out that Bolsonaro did not present any evidence about his allegations of fraud in past elections and echoed the statements concerning the meeting made by both the president of the Brazilian Superior Electoral Court, Justice Edson Fachin, and the president of the Brazilian Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco. Both repudiated the president’s statements to diplomats.