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Bolsonaro blocked from running in Brazil

SAO PAULO — A panel of judges voted Friday to render far-right former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro ineligible to run for office again after concluding that he abused his power and cast unfounded doubts on the country’s electronic voting system.

The decision forbids Bolsonaro from running until 2030, upending the 68-year-old’s political future and likely erasing any chance for him to regain power.

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Five judges on the nation’s highest electoral court agreed that Bolsonaro abused his authority by using government communication channels to promote his campaign and sowing doubts about the vote. Two judges voted against.

“This decision will end Bolsonaro’s chances of being president again, and he knows it,” said Carlos Melo, a political science professor at Insper University in Sao Paulo. “After this, he will try to stay out of jail, elect some of his allies to keep his political capital, but it is very unlikely he will ever return to the presidency.”

The case focused on a July 18, 2022, meeting where Bolsonaro used government staffers, the state television channel and the presidential palace in Brasilia to tell foreign ambassadors that the country’s electronic voting system was rigged.

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