Brazil election authority withdraws invitation for EU observers

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Brazil election authority withdraws invitation for EU observers

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro waved to supporters outside a convention center in Brasilia, Brazil on November 30, 2021 after attending a ceremony where he officially joined the centrist Liberal Party. RAUL SPINASSE AP BRASILIA -- Brazil's Supreme Electoral Court TSE withdrawn an invitation for the European Union to send observers for the October election after President Jair Bolsonaro's government objected, the EU and the election body confirmed on Tuesday.

The TSE, Brazil's top election authority, told Reuters last month that it had invited the European Union for the first time to observe this year's general election, when Bolsonaro will seek re-election.

Two days later, the foreign ministry objected, saying Brazil has never had its elections evaluated by an organization of which it is not a member.

The TSE said in a statement that the necessary conditions were not present to enable a comprehensive electoral observation mission after preliminary talks with EU officials.

Bolsonaro has questioned the validity of Brazil's electronic voting system and made baseless allegations of fraud in the 2018 race, raising concerns that he may not accept the results of the October election.

ALSO READ: Brazil's Lula shores up party alliances for the October election.

The EU received an invitation from the TSE in March to send a team to explore the usefulness, advisability and feasibility of having an observation mission for the first time in Brazil for the elections, according to an invitation from the TSE in March.

According to Peter Stano, spokesman for foreign affairs for the European Commission, the TSE has since advised us that they will not pursue their request from March. Under these circumstances, we will not send an exploratory mission to Brazil to assess a possible EU observer mission. The Organization of American States and the Parliament of South American trade bloc Mercosur have confirmed they will send missions, according to the TSE. The Carter Center and International Foundation for Electoral Systems IFES have been invited to send observers.

Bolsonaro says Brazil's vote pits good against bad.

Opinion polls show leftist former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has a comfortable lead over Bolsonaro, though his advantage has been eroded in recent surveys.