South America

Articles about voting issues in South America.

Venezuela: European Union says free, fair elections the solution for Venezuela | Associated Press

European countries urged restraint in Venezuela on Tuesday and called for new elections as a way to settle the political crisis in the South American country, but there wasn’t a unified voice immediately on whether to support or condemn the opposition’s move to oust President Nicolás Maduro. In a statement released late in the day, the European Union said it rejected any form of violence and would continue to push for “free and fair elections.” The president of the bloc’s Parliament, Antonio Tajani, came out as the strongest European voice in support of the opposition. In a tweet in Spanish, Tajani called the events “a historic moment for the return to democracy and freedom in Venezuela,” and described the release of activist Leopoldo López from house arrest as “great news.” “Let’s go Venezuela free!” wrote Tajani, a prominent conservative leader. All but four EU members endorsed the initial, Europe-wide call in February to back opposition leader Juan Guaidó when he appointed himself interim president. The four who did not join the other EU members were Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Slovakia.

Full Article: European Union says free, fair elections the solution for Venezuela.

Venezuela: Dueling political movements each push elections | Associated Press

Venezuela’s opposition-dominated congress on Tuesday said it will hold new elections as soon as possible within a year — once embattled President Nicolas Maduro is ousted from power. Meanwhile, Venezuela’s socialist party boss, Diosdado Cabello, threatened to hold early legislative elections that could gut the congress, which is the only branch of government controlled by the opposition. He accused the opposition of taking orders from the United States. “We won’t skip a beat,” Cabello said. “We have no doubt that the imperialism governs the Venezuelan right wing.” The struggle for power in Venezuela resurged this year when congress leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president, saying Maduro’s re-election in May was fraudulent.

Full Article: Venezuela's dueling political movements each push elections - ABC News.

Venezuela: European Countries Call for Presidential Election in Venezuela | VoA News

Britain, along with Spain, France and Sweden and Denmark on Monday recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the South American country’s interim president. The European countries want Venezuela to hold a presidential election as soon as possible to end its political and humanitarian crises. British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt posted on Twitter: “Nicolas Maduro has not called Presidential elections within 8 day limit we have set. So UK alongside European allies now recognizes @jguaido as interim constitutional president until credible elections can be held. Let’s hope this take us closer to ending humanitarian crisis.”

Full Article: European Countries Call for Presidential Election in Venezuela.

Venezuela: Venezuela set for another round of protests as Maduro rules out fresh elections | Telegraph

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro said he was prepared to hold negotiations with the US-backed opposition but ruled out early presidential elections as Caracas braced itself for fresh street protests. “I am ready to sit down at the negotiating table with the opposition so that we could talk for the good of Venezuela,” Maduro told the Russian state news agency in an interview in Caracas. Last week the oil-rich but economically devastated Latin American country was plunged into uncertainty when the US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido proclaimed himself “acting president”. The United States, a dozen Latin American countries and Canada have recognised Guaido as interim president, while China and Russia – Venezuela’s two main creditors – have urged non-interference.

Full Article: Venezuela set for another round of protests as Maduro rules out fresh elections.

Venezuela: Pressure mounts on Maduro as European Union demands new elections | The Washington Post

President Nicolás Maduro faced increasing international pressure on Saturday, as European governments threatened to recognize his chief opponent as Venezuela’s leader unless a plan for new elections is announced within eight days. The statements from Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Britain came as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pressed the United Nations to throw its support behind Juan Guaidó, the leader of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, who declared himself president on Wednesday. The United States and most Latin American countries have recognized Guaidó as interim leader in recent days, after Maduro was sworn in for a second term following elections riddled with fraud. But Russia, China and others have defended Maduro. Guaidó’s actions have represented the most significant challenge yet to Maduro, whose socialist policies have contributed to an economic meltdown in this oil-rich country.

Full Article: Venezuela: Maduro standoff deepens as E.U. demands new elections - The Washington Post.

Brazil: WhatsApp skewed Brazilian election, proving social media’s danger to democracy | Salon

Bolsonaro did not win 55 percent of votes thanks to misinformation alone. A powerful desire for political change in Brazil after a yearslong corruption scandal and a court decision compelling the jailed front-runner Luis Inacio Lula da Silva to withdraw from the race both opened the door wide for his win. But Bolsonaro’s candidacy benefited from a powerful and coordinated disinformation campaign intended to discredit his rivals, according to the Brazilian newspaper Folha. Days before the Oct. 28 runoff between Bolsonaro and his leftist competitor, leftist Fernando Haddad, an investigation by Folha revealed that a conservative.

Full Article: WhatsApp skewed Brazilian election, proving social media’s danger to democracy | Salon.com.

Peru: Scandal-plagued Peru to vote on reshaping political system | The Guardian

Peruvians vote on Sunday in a referendum that could empower a sweeping overhaul of the country’s judiciary and a loathed political class following a string of scandals that have laid bare the corruption at the heart of Peru’s public institutions. The referendum comes at the end of a year of hitherto unimaginable political upsets beginning when the president Pedro Pablo Kuczysnki was forced to resign over corruption allegations in March and followed by the jailing in November of his principal adversary, the powerful opposition leader Keiko Fujimori. Four former Peruvian presidents are now under investigation for taking bribes from the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, which has admitted to paying out $30m in Peru – just a fraction of the estimated $800m the firm has admitted to handing out as kickbacks across Latin America, making it the continent’s biggest-ever corruption scandal.

Full Article: Scandal-plagued Peru to vote on reshaping political system | World news | The Guardian.

Venezuela: Weary Venezuelans go to polls with record low turnout predicted | AFP

Venezuelans went to polling stations Sunday to elect municipal council members, but analysts predicted record low turnout, citing mistrust in the process, the banning of opposition parties and widespread exhaustion amid the ongoing socioeconomic crisis. The elections come one month before President Nicolas Maduro begins his second six-year term after winning an election in May termed illegitimate by political opponents, the European Union, the United States and most of Latin America. Voting was suspended in the southern city of Gran Sabana, where an indigenous man died Saturday in an apparent military operation against illegal mining, the National Electoral Council (NEC) reported.

Full Article: Weary Venezuelans go to polls with record low turnout predicted.

Bolivia: Court allows President Morales to run for fourth term | Al Jazeera

A Bolivian court has given a green light for President Evo Morales to seek a fourth term in office, which opponents say is unconstitutional. “The full chamber of the Supreme Electoral Court, by virtue of the jurisdiction and competence exercised by law,” approved nine candidates for primary elections in January, including Morales, according to the decision, which was read out at a press briefing. The decision on Tuesday night came just as opposition to Morales’s candidacy was building, with protesters marching in the capital, La Paz, last week. A general strike was called for next Thursday to oppose Morales’ re-election bid. Morales had previously accepted the results of a 2016 referendum, when 51 percent of Bolivian voters rejected his proposal to end existing term limits.

Full Article: Bolivia court allows President Morales to run for fourth term | Bolivia News | Al Jazeera.

Brazil: Government reiterates e-voting security | ZDNet

Brazilian authorities reiterated that the electronic voting machines used in the country’s elections are completely fraud-proof prior to the run-off, which took place on yesterday (29). In a public service announcement run on national television and radio on Saturday night, the minister at the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE) Justice Rosa Weber highlighted the security of the electronic polling machines in use in Brazil and the danger of fake news dissemination. To ensure a smooth election involving nearly 148 million citizens in Brazil, where voting is compulsory, Weber said the electoral justice took “various measures to prevent and correct any possible failures.”

Full Article: Brazilian government reiterates e-voting security | ZDNet.

Brazil: Jair Bolsonaro declared Brazil’s next president | The Guardian

A far-right, pro-gun, pro-torture populist has been elected as Brazil’s next president after a drama-filled and deeply divisive election that looks set to radically reforge the future of the world’s fourth biggest democracy. Jair Bolsonaro, a 63-year-old former paratrooper who built his campaign around pledges to crush corruption, crime and a supposed communist threat, secured 55.1% of the votes after 99.9% were counted and was therefore elected Brazil’s next president, electoral authorities said on Sunday. Bolsonaro’s leftist rival, Fernando Haddad, secured 44.8% of votes. In a video broadcast from his home in Rio de Janeiro, Bolsonaro thanked God and vowed to stamp out corruption in the country. “We cannot continue flirting with communism … We are going to change the destiny of Brazil,” he said.

Full Article: Jair Bolsonaro declared Brazil's next president | World news | The Guardian.

Brazil: Newspaper asks for probe of threats to election reporter | Associated Press

Brazil’s biggest newspaper said Wednesday that it has asked federal police to investigate threats against a journalist whose story alleged backers of the front-running presidential candidate bankrolled a fake news campaign. The request comes amid an increasingly heated atmosphere ahead of Sunday’s runoff between far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro, who leads in opinion polls, and his leftist opponent, Fernando Haddad. The newspaper Folha de S. Paulo last week ran a report by Patricia Campos Mello saying businessmen linked to right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro had paid to spread fake news on the WhatsApp messaging service to benefit his candidacy. It said a blast message campaign also was planned for this week. Bolsonaro denied the report. Haddad called on Brazil’s electoral court to investigate.

Full Article: Brazil newspaper asks probe of threats to election reporter.

Brazil: Authorities admit fake news struggle | ZDNet

Brazil’s Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) has conceded that it is struggling to deal with the overwhelming wave of fake news created and disseminated around the country’s presidential elections. In a press conference that took place yesterday (22) following the emergence of a WhatsApp mass messaging scandal involving leading presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro , TSE minister Justice Rosa Weber said there was no failure regarding Brazil’s electoral justice around dealing with disinformation, but later admitted there is a problem. “We all know fake news is a worldwide phenomenon, which calls for reflection. We would like to have an immediate and effective solution, but we don’t,” Weber told journalists. “Whoever has the solution to fight disinformation, please show it to us. We haven’t discovered a miracle,” she added.

Full Article: Brazilian authorities admit fake news struggle | ZDNet.

Brazil: Disinformation Spreads on WhatsApp Ahead of Brazilian Election | The New York Times

Over the past few months, the 120 million Brazilians who use WhatsApp, the smartphone messaging application that is owned by Facebook, have been deluged with political messages. The missives, spread through the country by the millions, have targeted voters ahead of Brazil’s fiercely contested presidential election. A final runoff between a far-right candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, and Fernando Haddad, the leftist Workers’ Party candidate, will be on Oct. 28. One popular WhatsApp message displayed the name of a presidential candidate, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, next to the number 17. When Brazilians vote, they punch in a number for a candidate or party in an electronic voting machine. The misleading message was just one of millions of photos containing disinformation believed to have reached Brazilians in recent months. A study of 100,000 WhatsApp images that were widely shared in Brazil found that more than half contained misleading or flatly false information.

Full Article: Disinformation Spreads on WhatsApp Ahead of Brazilian Election - The New York Times.

Brazil: ‘Flowering of hate’: bitter election brings wave of political violence to Brazil | The Guardian

The two contenders in Brazil’s bitterly-contested presidential race have urged calm after a wave of attacks on journalists, activists and members of the LGBT community by supporters of far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro including beatings, a knife attack and a murder. Supporters of the former paratrooper – himself the victim of a botched assassination attempt last month – have also reportedly been targeted with violence. But an investigation by independent journalism group Agência Publica found that an overwhelming majority of the violence was committed by supporters of Bolsonaro, who polls give a 16-point lead over his leftist opponent, Fernando Haddad, ahead of the second round runoff on 28 October.

Full Article: 'Flowering of hate': bitter election brings wave of political violence to Brazil | World news | The Guardian.

Brazil: Brazil battles fake news ‘tsunami’ amid polarized presidential election | The Guardian

As Brazil nears the climax of its most bitter and polarized election in recent history, academics and digital activists fighting to stem a rising tide of fake news say that accurate coverage of the campaign risks being drowned out by the sheer volume of lies being spread on Facebook and WhatsApp. On Monday, Brazil’s electoral court ordered Facebook to remove links to 33 fake news stories targeting Manuela D’Ávila, a communist party politician and the vice-presidential candidate for Fernando Haddad of the Workers’ Party (PT). D’Ávila party hailed the decision as a victory, but one digital media expert said it was a mere drop in the ocean. “This is nothing. It’s irrelevant amid the lies and attacks in this election,” said Pablo Ortellado, a professor of public policy at the University of São Paulo who leads a project monitoring public debate on social media. “There is very little correct information.”

Full Article: Brazil battles fake news 'tsunami' amid polarized presidential election | World news | The Guardian.

Brazil: Bolsonaro questions Brazil’s voting machines—especially if he loses | Quartz

Brazil’s electronic ballot boxes are internationally admired:  The country welcomes foreign delegations that travel here to study them, and sends experts to other nations to teach them about the technology. But as the country goes to vote today (Oct. 7) in a deeply polarized election, conspiracy theories spread by frontrunner Jair Bolsonaro, a radical right-wing populist, are casting doubts on their infallibility. The attack on the machines threatens to call into question the integrity of Brazil’s entire electoral process. The machines are mandatory in 460,000 voting stations across Brazil’s five regions, and have become iconic in Brazil since they were first used in 1996. Their instantly recognizable sound indicating a vote has been cast is used in political ads. They’re touted on TV on election day, with segments showing the challenges electoral workers face to transport the boxes containing them—be it by truck in São Paulo, by bus in Rio, or by boat in the Amazon. The country even lends the machines to fellow Latin American nations for tests (in countries like Argentina, Haiti, Equador, and Mexico) or for actual elections (like in the tiny neighboring nation of Paraguay).

Full Article: Bolsonaro questions Brazil's voting machines—especially if he loses — Quartz.

Brazil: Only the grandest of coalitions can now defeat Bolsonaro | The Guardian

Brazilian leftists heaved a huge collective sigh of relief on Sunday night after Jair Bolsonaro – the homophobic, dictatorship-praising far-right front-runner – fell just short of a stunning first-round victory that would have made him president of one of the world’s largest and most diverse democracies. Their relief may well be short-lived. Fernando Haddad, Bolsonaro’s opponent in the pivotal second-round vote on 28 October, has a mountain almost as high as Brazil’s Pico da Neblina to climb if he is to scupper the right-wing populist’s dramatic political ascent. Bolsonaro secured more than 49m votes on Sunday – 46% of the total and just shy of the majority he needed for an outright win – while his Workers’ party (PT) opponent won just 29%, or 31m votes.

Full Article: In Brazil, only the grandest of coalitions can now defeat Bolsonaro | World news | The Guardian.

Brazil: ‘Brazil is at war’: election plays out amid homicidal violence | The Guardian

Francine Farias had just completed a census of her tumbledown favela on the outskirts of one of the world’s most violent cities when she heard a volley of gunfire and her count was rendered suddenly out of date. One unpaved street away, her nextdoor neighbour, 17-year-old Ruan Patrick Ramos Cruz, lay dead in the dirt after being repeatedly shot in the head and chest by unknown assassins. “First I heard four [shots], then two more,” recalled Farias, a community leader in Loteamento Alameda das Árvores, a rundown 288-home settlement on the southern fringes of Feira de Santana. “It’s devastating to see one more young person die because of crime – a young man with his whole future before him,” added Farias, 31, who said her neighbour had become mixed up in drugs. “He’s the third since I’ve lived here. All of them the same age.” Cruz was the 296th person to die in Feira de Santana this year and the latest victim of an escalating murder crisis that has arguably made public security the key issue as Brazil holds its most unpredictable presidential election in decades.

Full Article: 'Brazil is at war': election plays out amid homicidal violence | World news | The Guardian.

Brazil: Court bars voters who didn’t register fingerprints | Associated Press

Brazil’s highest court ruled Wednesday that 3.4 million people cannot vote in next month’s national elections because they failed to register their fingerprints with authorities, a move that could affect the crowded presidential race. All voting is electronic in Brazil, and since 2016 voters have had to register their fingerprints to cast ballots under a biometric voting system. On a 7-2 vote, the justices found it would be impossible to drop the requirement for biometric identification less than two weeks before the Oct. 7 elections. Two judges abstained. Critics say authorities didn’t properly inform Brazilians of the requirement, so many failed to register their fingerprints.

Full Article: Brazil court bars voters who didn't register fingerprints.