Brazil's VP Mourao says Bolsonaro's bid to challenge election not likely to succeed

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro greets Brazil's Vice President Hamilton Mourao during a ceremony at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil February 11, 2022. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

LISBON, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Brazil's Vice President Hamilton Mourao said on Wednesday Jair Bolsonaro's bid to challenge the election he lost last month was not likely to succeed but argued more transparency was needed in the country's electoral process.

Bolsonaro's right-wing electoral coalition, which filed the complaint on Tuesday, claimed that votes from some machines should be "invalidated".

The claim seems unlikely to get far, as Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's victory has been ratified by the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) and acknowledged by Brazil's leading politicians and international allies.

Still, it could fuel a small but committed protest movement that has so far refused to accept the result.

Speaking to reporters on the last day of his official visit to Portugal's capital Lisbon, Mourao said he believed Bolsonaro's complaint "would not prosper", adding: "I think this is an issue we will have to resolve in the future."

But Mourao also criticised the TSE, alleging that the court's "brief responses (to complaints about the electoral process) are not enough".

"There is a portion of our society that considers the process has problems," Mourao said. "We need to provide more transparency in this process."

Bolsonaro, a far-right former army captain, has for years claimed that the country's electronic voting system is liable to fraud, without providing substantiating evidence.

Bolsonaro remained publicly silent for nearly 48 hours after the election was called on Oct. 30 and has still not conceded defeat, although he authorised his government to begin preparing for a presidential transition.

Mourao said it is Bolsonaro's job, as president, to hand over the presidential sash to Lula at the swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 1. "regardless of the process, regardless of whether you like the person or not".

Reporting by Catarina Demony; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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