National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan reportedly warned Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro against interfering in Brazil’s upcoming election when he visited the country on Thursday.
A source familiar with the meeting told Reuters that Sullivan raised concerns regarding Bolsonaro’s baseless claims of fraud in Brazil’s all-electronic voting system as well as his threats to not accept the election results if the system is not changed.
Sullivan apparently stressed the importance of not undermining confidence in Brazil’s election. He also met with close Bolsonaro aides Defense Minister Walter Braga Netto and Presidential Security Adviser Augusto Heleno.
Bolsonaro has blasted the country’s current election system for the past few weeks, Reuters notes. He has demanded printed ballots that can be counted, though his measure was voted down by a Brazilian congressional committee last week.
“Bolsonaro has threatened the elections because he has already lost. He wants to perpetuate himself in power. He needs to be contained,” Brazilian Congressman Ivan Valente said to the committee, according to Reuters.
The voting amendment will go up for a vote in Brazil’s lower house this week, though it is unlikely to pass.
The Brazilian president’s popularity has fallen during the COVID-19 pandemic and polling data shows him to be trailing behind former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, though Reuters reports that neither has announced their candidacy.