The Federal Highway Police of Brazil is being accused of blocking voters of the new President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Sunday in the Northeast region of Brazil, as the Supreme Electoral Tribunal has asked for an explanation for their actions.

Many officials, activists, and voters have reportedly complained about the biased nature of the Federal Highway Police in areas that support Lula, with federal deputy Paulo Teixeira of the Workers’ Party claiming that the Federal Police and Highway Police are both interfering with the election, according to Brasil de Fato.

Illegal roadblocks were reportedly put up by the Highway Police in the Northeastern parts of Brazil, allegedly as a way of consolidating the vote to give Jair Bolsonaro a better chance of winning, as surveys before the election showed him lagging behind Lula in those territories, Reuters reported.

The Supreme Electoral Tribunal had previously ordered the Highway Police to take down the roadblocks before the elections.

Minister Alexandre de Moraes from the Supreme Electoral Tribunal asked the general director of the Highway Police, Silvinei Marques, for an explanation for the roadblocks. He cited an incident in Cuité, Paraiba where voters were being scared off by the alleged illegal roadblocks from voting.

Meanwhile, while Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes claimed that no one has been prevented from voting by the roadblocks and that they did not extend the voting hours because of it, that the courts will investigate every case of the alleged roadblocks closely.

Charles Camaraense, the Mayor of Cuité, confirmed the complaint made by the people, and denounced the Highway Police for their attempt at suppressing voting in regions unfavorable to Bolsonaro. “If they think that this way they will inhibit the people from voting for Lula, they are mistaken,” he said.

Meanwhile, Marques has been an avid supporter of Bolsonaro online, even posting a picture of the outgoing President online and asking people to vote for him en masse. The Workers' Party has filed a petition for his arrest for allegedly failing to obey the government’s orders regarding the roadblocks.

“I ask the members of our coalition to go to the sites of the operations in their states and order the arrest of the police officers, including Military Police officers as in Rio de Janeiro,” President of the Workers’ Party Gleisi Hoffmann said.

Brazil Roadblocks Elections Rep. Picture
The Federal Highway Police in Brazil is being accused of putting up roadblocks in the Northeastern parts of the country on Sunday as a way of preventing people from voting. This is a representational image. Babur Yakar/Unsplash.

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