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Brazil’s electoral body withdrew its invitation for the European Union to send election observers for the upcoming presidential polls, a request that had been made initially because of concerns over President Jair Bolsonaro’s criticism of the electoral process, Reuters reported.
The Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) had invited the EU for the first time to observe this year’s general election in October. Bolsonaro is expected to run.
But soon after the invitation was issued, Brazil’s foreign ministry objected to the move, saying that the South American country has never had its elections “evaluated” by an outside organization it doesn’t belong to.
The TSE then withdrew the invite.
The initial invitation came after Bolsonaro questioned the validity of Brazil’s electronic voting system and raised concerns that he may not accept the results of the October elections.
Even so, the TSE added that the Organization of American States and the parliament of South American trade bloc Mercosur have confirmed they will send missions. The electoral body also invited observers from the US-based Carter Center and International Foundation for Electoral Systems.
Polls show that leftist former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has a comfortable lead over Bolsonaro, though his lead has dwindled in recent surveys.