In an unprecedented letter to the European Commission, 50 lawmakers from the bloc asked Europe to reject any threat by Jair Bolsonaro against Brazil’s electoral system and to monitor, even remotely, the country’s vote next Sunday.
The text also suggests that the bloc adopt trade sanctions if there is a democratic breakdown. The letter does not describe how this will be done, only stating which commercial instruments should be used to defend democracy in Brazil. The column showed that the message was clear: the suspension of certain benefits for Brazilian products or an increase in tariffs. Basically, some kind of sanction for Europe, one of Brazil’s main trade and investment partners.
“Given the unprecedented threats to Brazil’s general elections, we urge the European Commission to take additional steps to make it unequivocally clear to President Bolsonaro and his administration that the Constitution of Brazil must be respected and that attempts to subvert the rules of democracy are unacceptable.” MPs ask
“It is also crucial to dissuade the Brazilian military leadership from any temptation to support the coup,” the letter said.
Lawmakers continue to signal possible sanctions. “The EU must declare that it will use various levers, including trade, to defend democracy and human rights in Brazil,” they said.
The document repeats the same model of pressure that American congressmen exerted on President Joe Biden a few weeks ago. The content of both letters is almost the same, with warnings about the threats to democracy that Bolsonaro represents.
“Ahead of the general elections in Brazil on 2 October 2022, more than 50 members of the European Parliament have written to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, urging them to monitor the elections in Brazil and support democratic institutions in Brazil,” the parliament said in a statement.
“Brazil’s electronic voting system, which has been in place since 1996 and is considered safe and reliable, has been the target of repeated and unfounded attacks by President Jair Bolsonaro. The disappearance of democracy would have international implications,” he warns.
Anna Cavazzini, a member of the Green Bloc in parliament, said that “attacks on democratic institutions and threats to not recognize the election results in the event of President Bolsonaro’s defeat are deeply worrying.”
“We ask the European Commission and the External Action Service to closely monitor the situation and support those who defend democracy in Brazil and make it clear that the international community will condemn any coup activity,” he explained.
According to the letter, 50 lawmakers express “deep concern about the systematic attacks on democratic institutions in Brazil.”
The text warns of Bolsonaro’s meeting with foreign ambassadors, where the president lied about the electoral system.
“On July 18, 2022, in a meeting with the diplomatic corps, President Bolsonaro stated that the “(electronic) system is completely vulnerable,” without presenting any evidence of fraud,” the lawmakers said.
“This is not the first time he has tried to discredit Brazil’s electoral institutions. In June, he publicly promised to “go to war” if necessary to avoid “stolen” elections. And on September 19, less than a month before the vote, , stated is that the elections will be rigged if he does not win in the first round with 60 percent of the votes,” they said.
“We fear that he could prevent a peaceful transfer of power if he loses,” the Europeans warned.
Another highlight is the political violence in Brazil. “Threats, intimidation and political violence, including death threats to candidates, continue to increase online and offline. Since July, two PT supporters have been killed by the Bolsonaros, and death threats have been directed at Socialist candidate Guilherme Boulos,” they point out.
“These acts create terror among the population and deter potential candidates from competing for positions. UN experts point out that these threats are particularly aimed at women, indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants and LGBTI people, and limit their opportunities for representation in the decisions they make concern, perpetuating a destructive cycle of exclusion,” they say.
In the letter, 50 MPs continue to ask the Commission to monitor the situation in the country. “At this time, there will be no EU election observation mission in Brazil, as there has been no invitation from the Brazilian electoral authorities. However, we call on the EU delegation in Brazil, as well as the EEAS as a whole, to closely monitor the situation and support the Brazilian institutions and civil society organizations that defend democracy,” they conclude.
Therefore, the letter to the representatives:
Miguel Urban Crespo
Eleanor to Eva
Jutta Paulus Kira