September 26, 2022

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Sources say the US says Lula intends to quickly recognize the winner of the Brazilian elections

Sources say the US says Lula intends to quickly recognize the winner of the Brazilian elections

A man runs banners bearing pictures of presidential candidates, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Ciro Gomez and former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on September 1, 2022. REUTERS/PILAR OLIVARES/FILE PHOTO

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BRASILIA/RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazil’s leading presidential candidate and leftist ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will quickly recognize the winner in next month’s election, U.S. diplomats assured Reuters. Any attempt to challenge a legitimate result or sow chaos after the vote.

With only a few days left until the first round of voting on October 2, Lula is leading in the polls against President Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right populist who has sought to discredit Brazil’s electronic voting system. Critics fear Bolsonaro will follow in the footsteps of former US President Donald Trump and refuse to accept an electoral defeat.

One of the sources, who asked not to be identified to discuss the secret talks, said that in Wednesday’s meeting, Lula asked Douglas Conniff, the top US diplomat in Brazil, to get a quick US recognition if he did win, either in the first round. Voting or in the runoff on October 30.

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The source added that Lula was informed that Washington plans to recognize the results immediately, regardless of the winner, and set an example for other countries to follow suit and reduce the chance of a disputed outcome.

The other source said foreign policy adviser Lula Celso Amorim heard similar assurances on Thursday when he met with a group of diplomats from Latin America and the Caribbean. A third source said that many European countries are also planning to quickly recognize the results of the Brazilian elections.

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In response to a request for comment, a US State Department spokesperson did not refer to Lula’s meeting, but said in a statement that meetings with presidential candidates “do not imply support for a particular individual, party or program.” The spokesman added that the State Department “has confidence in the strength of Brazilian democratic institutions”.

Still reeling from the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol by Trump supporters, the administration of President Joe Biden, increasingly concerned about Bolsonaro’s baseless allegations of election fraud, sent high-level delegations to Brasilia to urge him to comply. democratic standards.

Reuters reported in May that the director of the US Central Intelligence Agency told top Brazilian officials last year that Bolsonaro should stop questioning the voting system.

One of the sources said that Lula thanked the United States in the meeting with Konev for showing confidence in Brazil’s voting system.

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Additional reporting by Lisandra Paraguaso and Gabriel Stargardter Additional reporting by Anthony Boudl Editing by Brad Haines, Alistair Bell and Leslie Adler

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