Fact Check-Bolsonaro did not ‘annul’ Brazil’s election and the military did not find evidence of ‘fraud’

Brazil’s electoral court certified president-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s win on Dec. 12, 2022, contrary to claims that the election was fraudulent and annulled by President Jair Bolsonaro.

Examples of a screenshot circulating on social media and making this claim can be seen (here) and (here).

The text reads, in part, “Bolsonaro just annulled the fraudulent election in Brazil. With the help of the military and waves of millions upon millions of pissed off citizens IN EVERY CITY IN BRAZIL, it looks like the socialist fraud, Lula, will be vacating the Presidency.” It adds that the military oversaw the “re-count” and found machines had switched votes from Bolsonaro to Lula.

There is no evidence that Bolsonaro has annulled the election results or has the power to do so, however.

Lula narrowly beat Bolsonaro in the presidential election October 2022, and is set to take office on Jan. 1, 2023, per Reuters reports (here).

Article 84 on page 82 of the Constitution of the Federative Republic of Brazil (here) outlines the powers of the president, which do not include the annulment of election results. The Superior Electoral Court (TSE) is the highest body of the electoral system. The electoral law specifies situations in which elections can be annulled, and all of them are analyzed by electoral judges, not by the president or the miliary (here).

The results were certified by the TSE in a ceremony on Dec. 12, 2022, a video and transcript of Lula’s speech can be seen (here) and (here).

Claims the military oversaw a “recount” that found machines had switched votes from Bolsonaro to Lula are also baseless.

A report by Brazil’s armed forces on the electronic voting system used in the country did not find specific problems with this year’s election, but pointed out some vulnerabilities, Reuters reported on Nov. 9, 2022 (here).

Complaints by Bolsonaro’s Liberal Party citing machine vote fraud to challenge the election results were dismissed by Alexandre de Moraes, the head of Brazil’s electoral court, on Nov. 22, 2022, per another Reuters report (here).

Reuters previously debunked similar claims about Brazil’s presidential election (here) and fact checks misinformation in Brazil in Portuguese (here).

Reuters has approached Brazil’s ministry of defense for comment.


False. Brazil’s supreme electoral court, who has power to annul elections in the country, certified the results of this year’s general election. A report by Brazil’s armed forces did not find specific problems with this year’s election, Reuters reported, but did highlight potential vulnerabilities.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here.