Electoral Fraud Still Rampant in Brazil

The President of Brazil’s Federal Electoral Court (TSE), Minister Sepúlveda Pertence, declared that the process of voter identification and the curtailment of political and economic abuses continue to be the main challenges faced by the Brazilian electoral court system.

Electoral Fraud Still Rampant in Brazil


Campaign abuses


The President of Brazil’s Federal Electoral Court (TSE), Minister Sepúlveda Pertence, declared that the process of voter identification and the curtailment of political and economic abuses continue to be the main challenges faced by the Brazilian electoral court system.


In Sepúlveda’s opinion, citizens should possess up-to-date civilian ID’s that can also be used to identify voters.


The President of the TSE sees the cases that are being examined by the electoral courts as evidence that political and economic abuses persist in the Brazilian electoral process.


Sepúlveda defends public campaign financing as a way to reduce the influence of economic privilege on elections.


According to the Minister, some private contributions are legitimate, but donations by big companies, especially ones with government contracts, “are false freebies.”


“This is not a reference either to Brazil or to current events. It has been documented by political science all over the world,” he stated.


According to Pertence, one of the concerns involves electoral funds derived from drug dealing. “I am not talking about Brazil, let it be made very clear,” he said.


The President of the TSE also said that electoral corruption is still substantial, despite the fact that, in the last round of municipal elections, in 2000, Law 9840 allowed the disqualification of over a hundred candidates guilty of committing electoral offenses.


According to the law, it is a crime to donate, offer, promise, or give voters any kind of material compensation or personal advantage.


Candidates who buy votes are liable to fines ranging from US$ 5.2 thousand (15 thousand reais) to US$ 20.9 thousand (60 thousand reais), and their candidate registrations or winners credentials can be annulled.


At yesterday’s “Unilegis 2004 Cycle of Conferences,” Pertence remarked that, although the upcoming municipal elections are the most “impassioned and emotional” to date, “great serenity prevails.”


“There are extremely local circumstances and issues, and they are being handled satisfactorily,” he concluded.


Agência Brasil
Translator: David Silberstein

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