Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's political career evaporated on Friday as a majority of federal electoral court (TSE) justices voted to bar him from public office until 2030 for his conduct during last year's fraught election.
Four out of seven (TSE) justices voted to convict Bolsonaro for abuse of power and misuse of the media last year, when he summoned ambassadors to vent unfounded claims about Brazil's electronic voting system. Two more justices are still to vote.
Bolsonaro, a former army captain who narrowly lost October's election to leftist rival Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, is accused of creating a nationwide movement to overturn the election result that culminated in the Jan. 8 invasion of government buildings in Brasilia by thousands of his supporters.
The lead justice in the case, Benedito Goncalves, voted earlier this week to make the former president ineligible for eight years, saying he had "used the meeting with ambassadors to spread doubts and incite conspiracy theories."
Bolsonaro denies any wrongdoing and has already said he plans to the Supreme Court.
"I have not attacked the voting system; I just showed its possible flaws," Bolsonaro said in an interview with the Itatiaia radio station on Friday, before the judgment. "This trial doesn't make any sense."
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