The election loss to his leftist adversary Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva last month has been challenged by Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.

On Tuesday, Nov. 22, Bolsonaro's supporters complained to the nation's Superior Electoral Court (TSE) requesting "extraordinary verification" of the election results, Al Jazeera reported.

They noted the findings of their own investigation into the Oct. 30 run-off vote, in which Lula defeated the incumbent president by a narrow margin.
Allies of Bolsonaro claim that the audit reveals evidence of "malfunction" in older electronic voting devices.

“There were signs of serious failures that generate uncertainties and make it impossible to validate the results generated,” the complaint alleged, calling for ballots processed in those machines to be “invalidated”.

The TSE's confirmation of Lula's victory and the acceptance of it by Brazilian and international politicians make it unlikely that the complaint would affect the outcome.

However, the move could galvanize supporters of the president whose anti-democratic rhetoric has sparked fears he could disrupt the peaceful transition of power.

Bolsonaro circulated unfounded claims that the nation's election system was riddled with fraud in the months prior to the election. The former army captain, who has supported Brazil's former military dictatorship, alarmed critics who feared he might attempt to invalidate the results.

Those concerns eased as the election proceeded without notable issues. After nearly two days of silence following his loss, Bolsonaro reportedly told a Brazilian Supreme Court judge, “It is over“.

Bolsonaro never bowed to defeat, even though he gave his cabinet the go-ahead to start the transition process. In order to prevent Lula from winning, Bolsonaro's supporters flocked to the streets and appealed for the military to step in.

Brazilian police said truckers, in a key Bolsonaro constituency, had either partially or fully blocked highways at 271 points as part of the protests.

The Supreme Court ordered that the roadblocks be removed, but some Bolsonaro supporters have continued to urge the president to disregard the will of the voters. The Tuesday complaint is likely to spark additional protests.

Bolsonaro's right-wing electoral coalition must submit a complete audit for both rounds of the presidential election last month within 24 hours, according to an order from Alexandre de Moraes, the Supreme Court justice who chairs the TSE. Otherwise, he would dismiss the complaint.

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro
Representation image. Photo by Douglas Magno/AFP via Getty Images

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