Brazil’s Supreme Court hit back Wednesday at criticism and threats by President Jair Bolsonaro, warning him against trying to violate its rulings and accusing him of an “attack on democracy.”
Bolsonaro has repeatedly hit out at the high court, which has ordered investigations of him and his inner circle, notably over accusations of systematically spreading fake news from within the government.
The far-right leader upped his rhetoric at huge Independence Day rallies by his supporters Tuesday, vowing not to respect rulings by Justice Alexandre de Moraes, who has jailed several Bolsonaro allies and ordered the president investigated himself.
“The Supreme Court will not tolerate threats to the authority of its decisions,” said Luiz Fux, chief justice of the 11-member court.
“Besides representing an attack on democracy, such an attitude constitutes a ‘crime of responsibility’,” he said — an impeachable offense.
Bolsonaro portrayed himself at Tuesday’s rallies as the victim of hostile high court judges and electoral authorities, whom he accuses of attacking him and blocking his agenda.
Hardline supporters urged the military to intervene against the other branches of government to give Bolsonaro unfettered power, and the president himself warned of ominous “consequences” if the Supreme Court stood in his way.
“This court will never accept threats to its independence,” Fux shot back.
“No one will close this court.”
Bolsonaro sought to flex his political muscle with Tuesday’s rallies, at a time when polls place him on track to lose Brazil’s October 2022 elections to leftist ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Firing up his supporters with vows to defend their “freedom,” he railed against the high court and renewed his attacks on Brazil’s electronic voting system, which he insists — without evidence — is plagued by fraud.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)