(Reuters) – Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT), who leads polls for voting intentions for the Presidency of the Republic in the October election, said on Saturday that he will not tolerate threats or tutelage over institutions, further stating that the Armed Forces need to be committed to democracy
“It is necessary to overcome authoritarianism and anti-democratic threats. We will not tolerate any kind of threat or guardianship over the institutions representing the popular vote,” Lula said in a speech this Saturday in Salvador, where he participated in the celebration of Independence in Bahia.
The city also had the presence of three other presidential candidates: President Jair Bolsonaro (PL), former minister Ciro Gomes (PDT) and Senator Simone Tebet (MDB).
“It is necessary to restore an environment of political, economic and institutional stability that provides confidence and security to investments that are of interest to the country’s development”, said the PT.
Lula also made reference to the Armed Forces in his speech. He defended the importance of the military to the country, while affirming that the Armed Forces must be committed to democracy.
“The independent and sovereign Brazil that we want cannot give up its Armed Forces. Not only well trained and equipped, but above all committed to democracy,” Lula said.
Former army captain, Bolsonaro has placed several military personnel – both from the reserve and from active duty – in key positions traditionally occupied by civilians in the government. He also advocates a “parallel counting” of votes by the Armed Forces.
The PT’s statements come amid the constant questioning without evidence that Bolsonaro makes to the electronic voting system and the judiciary.
Asked recently whether he would accept a possible defeat in the October election, Bolsonaro refused to answer. He has also stated, when raising doubts without presenting reasons about electronic voting machines, that an election cannot be held under the cloak of suspicion.
This week, Senator Flávio Bolsonaro (PL-RJ), the president’s eldest son, said in an interview with the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo that it is not possible to control the reaction of Bolsonaro’s supporters to an eventual electoral defeat of the president.
Lula handily leads the polls of voting intentions for the October election, ahead of Bolsonaro, who seeks re-election and appears in second place.
Some recent surveys have pointed to the possibility of Lula winning the election in the first round.
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