Bolsonaro goes on trial over electoral fraud claims that could bar him from elections

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro faces trial over electoral fraud claims, with possible consequences of being barred from elections for eight years.

The allegations: The ex-President is charged with spreading false information about Brazil’s election system and abusing his power to disseminate the misstatements.
* The trial, held by a panel of seven judges, will not impose criminal penalties but may potentially end Bolsonaro’s political career.
* Bolsonaro claimed, without evidence, that Brazil’s electronic voting machines were susceptible to fraud and hacking.
* This is one of 16 cases against the former leader in Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court.

Reactions from his legal team: Bolsonaro’s lawyers argue that the evidence is weak and that his comments were not directed to Brazilian voters.
* Defense lawyer Karina Kufa says the former president was merely presenting an alternative view on the voting system and that the situation is “very worrying for our democracy.”

Implications for Bolsonaro’s future: Even if disqualified from running for office, Bolsonaro could still remain a significant political figure.
* A ruling could come quickly, as the Superior Electoral Court only needs a simple majority to convict and has only three more sessions before recess.

View original article on NPR

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