US tells Lula it plans to quickly recognize Brazil’s election winner: sources

US tells Lula it plans to quickly recognize Brazil’s election winner: sources

By Lisandra Paraguassu and Gabriel Stargardter

BRASILIA/RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept 23 (Reuters) – U.S. diplomats have told Brazil’s leading presidential candidate, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, that they will quickly recognize the winner of next month’s election, two sources told Reuters. in order to avoid any attempt to challenge a result or sow chaos after the elections.

With just days to go before the first round of elections on October 2, Lula is leading in the polls against President Jair Bolsonaro, a right-wing populist who has sought to discredit Brazil’s electronic voting system.

Critics fear that Bolsonaro will follow the example of former US President Donald Trump and refuse to accept an electoral defeat.

One of the sources, who asked to remain anonymous, said that in a meeting on Wednesday, Lula asked Douglas Koneff, the top US diplomat in Brazil, for quick recognition from Washington if he won, either in the first round. or in the second round on October 30.

Lula was told that Washington plans to immediately recognize the results regardless of who wins, setting an example for other countries to do the same and minimizing the possibility of a contested vote, the source added.

Lula’s foreign policy adviser, Celso Amorim, heard similar assurances Thursday when he met with a group of diplomats from Latin America and the Caribbean, the other source said. A third source said many European countries are also planning a quick recognition of Brazil’s election results.

The US State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Still scarred by the storming of the Capitol by Donald Trump supporters on January 6, the administration of President Joe Biden is increasingly concerned about Bolsonaro’s unfounded accusations of electoral fraud, and has sent delegations to Brasilia to urge him to compromise. with democratic norms.

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

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One of the sources said that in the meeting with Koneff, Lula thanked the United States for expressing faith in Brazil’s voting system.

(Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu and Gabriel Stargardter; Additional reporting by Anthony Boadle. Editing in Spanish by Marion Giraldo)

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