Pressure Mounts On Jair Bolsonaro Ally After Riots read full article at

Pressure Mounts On Jair Bolsonaro Ally After Riots

Jair Bolsonaro had for years sought to cast doubts on the reliability of Brazil’s election system.

Braslia, Brazil:

Brazil tightened the screws Friday on a former minister of far-right ex-president Jair Bolsonaro following riots against his leftist successor and the discovery of a possible election interference plan.

Anderson Torres is wanted under a Supreme Court warrant for alleged “collusion” with thousands of Bolsonaro fans who ransacked the presidency, Congress and Supreme Court Sunday in a violent rejection of new President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Torres, who was Bolsonaro’s last justice minister, also stands accused of “omission” in his most recent job as security chief for the capital Brasilia which was the target of the destructive ire of protesters.

He was fired after the revolt.

Like his former boss Bolsonaro, Torres was in the United States when the riots erupted, and is expected back in Brazil any day.

Lula’s new justice minister Flavio Dino, who replaced Torres, said Friday the authorities would give Torres until Monday to present himself.

If he fails to show up, “through international mechanisms, we will launch the procedures for extradition next week, since there is an arrest warrant,” Dino told reporters in the capital.

– ‘State of defense’ –

The minister also confirmed the discovery at Torres’ home of a draft decree proposing emergency steps for the possible “correction” of the October election that Bolsonaro lost to Lula by a razor-thin margin.

The undated and unsigned draft bears Bolsonaro’s name at the bottom, but Dino said the authorship was unknown.

Published in the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper late Thursday, the document foresees a “state of defense” for the Superior Electoral Court (TSE).

The aim, it said, would be “the preservation or immediate restoration of transparency and correction of the 2022 presidential electoral process.”

It was not clear whether the document was drawn up before or after Bolsonaro’s defeat.

The text also mentions the creation of an election “regulation commission” comprising eight defense ministry officials and nine other individuals to take over the electoral oversight functions of the TSE.

Dino said the document connected the dots between Lula’s October 30 election victory and the January 8 riots.

It was, he added, a “fundamental element for understanding cause and effect,” a “missing link between a succession of events, showing that they were not isolated. And yes, that there was… a plan.”

Torres, who has been in the United States since before the riots, said on Twitter the document was “likely” part of a pile of papers at his home that were destined to be destroyed.

He said the contents of the draft had been taken “out of context” to “feed false narratives” against him.

Dino said there had been no attempt to extradite Bolsonaro who, like Torres, has denied any connection to the riots.

– Clamoring for a coup –

Thousands of so-called “bolsonaristas” invaded the seats of government in Brasilia Sunday, breaking windows and furniture, destroying priceless works of art, and leaving graffiti messages calling for a military coup in their wake.

Bolsonaro had for years sought to cast doubts on the reliability of Brazil’s internationally-praised election system, and had suggested he would not accept a defeat.

He never publically acknowledged Lula’s victory, and left for the United States two days before his successor’s inauguration.

Dino on Friday repeated Lula’s claims of involvement by the security services in the January 8 uprising.

“We are dealing with a network of which we do not yet know the extent, of public security agents who unfortunately participated, voluntarily or by omission” in the riots, he said.

Investigations were continuing into who masterminded and financed the uprising, as police also pursue the search for more rioters.

More than 2,000 were detained after the riotous events, for which the full extent of the damage is still being determined.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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