According to court records, the chairman of Brazil's electoral court, Alexandre de Moraes, rejected a challenge to the election results made on Wednesday by supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro, who barely lost the poll.
On October 30, when he narrowly defeated Bolsonaro in a runoff election, socialist ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva made a stunning comeback, ending Brazil's most right-wing administration in decades.
Lula won by a margin of less than 2%.
In addition, Bolsonaro's coalition parties were fined $22.9 million ($4.27 million) by Supreme Court justice Moraes for engaging in "bad faith litigation," according to the document.
On Tuesday, Bolsonaro’s Liberal Party (PL) submitted a lawsuit to overturn the election results, stating that the electoral court should nullify votes cast on defective electronic voting machines. This claim was met with suspicion on the part of election officials.
The electoral court ordered the president’s coalition parties’ political funds frozen on Wednesday until the fine is paid. The court also demanded an investigation into whether or not PL leader Valdemar da Costa Neto had abused his position or the party’s resources.
The judge, Moraes, wrote that the challenge was an “offence” to democratic standards and that it attempted to incite criminal and anti-democratic movements.
“The ballot boxes generate files that make it possible to identify precisely which equipment they were generated on. When one of these mechanisms stops working, others replace it, without affecting its traceability and the possibility of identifying ballot boxes,” according to the ruling.
Experts and political observers have panned Bolsonaro’s election challenge as weak on the merits, but it might potentially incite his fans who have been protesting his electoral loss.