Brazil: 500,000 signatures on petition to ‘defend democracy’ News | dw

As of Sunday, more than half a million people have signed a petition in Brazil to “protect democracy” in response to President Jair Bolsonaro’s attacks on the country’s electoral system.

The petition’s authors wrote, without mentioning Bolsonaro, “we are passing through a moment of great crisis for normal democracy, a risk to the institutions of the republic and an objection to not respecting the election results.”

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is holding a broad lead over Bolsonaro ahead of October’s presidential election.

Bolsonaro has repeatedly attacked the country’s electronic voting system, questioned the country’s top electoral court, and insisted that he would only lose re-election if there was widespread voter fraud.

So in the first week, members of the Faculty of Law at the University of So Paulo created a petition to express concern that “the baseless and unproven attacks call into question the electoral process and the democratic position achieved with such a great struggle. by society.”

The petition does not directly mention Bolsonaro, but states that “threats against other powers … incitement to violence and institutional breakdown are intolerable.”

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva giving a speech during a political rally in Brasilia

Lula calls on supporters to take to the streets to win presidential election in October

Rival petition supports Bolsonaro’s views

Bolsonaro said he did not understand the plea, “Who is against democracy in Brazil? We are for transparency, legitimacy, we respect the constitution,” he wrote on Facebook.

His supporters began his petition with the goal of gathering one million signatures “to declare that without freedom, there is no democracy.”

His plea in “Defense of Freedom” also states that Brazilians should avoid “the consolidation of a single-minded dictatorship”.

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Meanwhile, Lula said he would continue to campaign in the open despite threats to his security.

Lula urged his supporters to avoid provocation.

Referring to Bolsonaro, he said, “We will win with courage. We have to come out on the streets to show that the Brazilian people really want democracy. We cannot succumb to this bully.”

Lo/Mr (AFP, EFE, Lusa, Reuters)

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