Brazil's Trump-backed president is challenging his election loss, weeks after it looked like he was going quietly
- Brazil's president challenged his election loss, saying votes cast on some machines should be thrown out.
- Jair Bolsonaro was expected to dispute the result, but stayed silent for weeks.
Brazil's outgoing president, Jair Bolsonaro, has formally challenged his country's October presidential election results, disputing his loss after weeks of silence.
On Tuesday Bolsonaro said that the election results were inaccurate and demanded that votes cast on some voting machines be thrown out due to a software issue, The Associated Press reported.
Bolsonaro has already filed a petition with Brazil's election authorities, according to CNN.
Observers had feared that the far-right politician would dispute the results that saw him lose to Brazil's former leftist president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in late October, after receiving 49.1% of the vote.
Bolsonaro was initially quiet in the aftermath of the election run off, before making a two-minute speech days after the results were announced, in which he did not contest the results, but also did not concede or admit defeat.
His chief of staff said at the time that the government would transition power, suggesting Bolsonaro would leave without issue.
That's now been upended by this latest announcement.
According to the AP, a bug was detected in some of the voting machines used, but independent experts say it does not affect the validity of the votes.
Reuters noted that the attempt is unlikely to be successful, as the country's electoral body has already certified Lula's victory. But the move suggests Bolsonaro plans to fight to stay in office before Lula's expected inauguration on January 1, 2023.
Bolsonaro has been seen little in public since his loss. Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourao told the newspaper O Globo earlier this month that this was because he has a skin infection and as such "can't wear pants."
Meanwhile, his supporters have protested the results, saying that he should still rightly be in office. Tens of thousands have demonstrated across the country, including by blocking the country's roads.
Western leaders appeared to have anticipated that Bolsonaro might dispute the election outcome, in the event of his loss, rushing out statements in the immediate aftermath to congratulate Lula, which experts said were crafted to head off any challenge by Bolsonaro.
Former US President Donald Trump, who also challenged his presidential election loss in 2021, and claims he should still rightfully be president, endorsed Bolsonaro in his reelection bid last year.
Trump backed him again in September 2022, just before the election, saying that people called Bolsonaro a "tropical Trump" and repeatedly urging Brazilians to back him as the election neared.
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