A majority of Brazil’s electoral court has blocked former President Jair Bolsonaro from running for public office for 8 years due to violations of election laws. 4 of 7 of the Superior Electoral Tribunal judges had already in favor by Friday, with only 1 voting in his favor.
According to the court, Bolsonaro had summoned several foreign diplomats and made unfounded claims about rigged voting systems in the upcoming election last year. These claims, as the court states, are what fueled large scale protests against President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and the violent tensions between police at government buildings in the capital, Brasilia.
Benedito Goncalves, the lead justice, stated to media that the former President had “used the meeting with ambassadors to spread doubts and incite conspiracy theories” about the election.
Bolsonaro, now 68 years old, can only run for president again in 2030 at the age of 75. He is expected to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court. Speaking to Italian media, he noted that “I have not attacked the voting system, I just showed its possible flaws.”