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Brazil’s electoral authority for the first time invited European Union representatives to observe its upcoming presidential elections amid fears that far-right President Jair Bolsonaro will reject the results if they do not show him winning reelection, Al Jazeera reported Tuesday.
The Superior Electoral Court (TSE) said the invitation aims “to amplify the transparency of its electoral system and make cooperation possible.” The authority said that it is also negotiating with other groups that have previously observed Brazilian elections, including the regional Organization of American States.
The invitation comes after Bolsonaro made unfounded allegations of fraud following Brazil’s 2020 regional elections and questioned the validity of the country’s electronic voting system. The president has demanded the adoption of paper ballots and accused the TSE of favoring his main opponent, the left-wing candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
The EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, said that he will consult the bloc and the European Parliament before making a decision. Sources said the EU is also planning to send a mission to Brazil to assess the viability of being an official observer in the upcoming vote.
Recent polls show da Silva ahead of the incumbent president, who faces criticism over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and accusations of crimes against humanity over his approach to the public health crisis.