The Brazilian Superior Electoral Court (TSE) has ruled that former president Jair Bolsonaro is ineligible to run for the presidency for the next eight years.
The ruling on Friday comes in response to allegations of abuses of political power and media manipulation, which will bar him from running for office until 2030.
The court secured a majority to politically incapacitate the 68-year-old right-winger for three elections, including the 2026 presidential elections. With four out of seven votes, court judges acknowledged that Bolsonaro had abused his political power and exploited the media to undermine confidence in Brazil's electronic voting system.
The trial, presided over by TSE President Alexandre de Moraes, commenced on June 22 last week.
During the trial, the TSE presented a draft decree that was discovered in the residence of Anderson Torres, former Minister of Justice, during a raid conducted by the federal police in January. The document, labelled as an attempt to subvert the October 2022 election result, was included as evidence in the proceedings.
The charges arise from a televised address that took place at the Alvorada Palace, attended by a dozen foreign diplomats. During the address, Bolsonaro made unfounded allegations regarding Brazil's electronic voting system in the lead-up to his democratic competition with current President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in October 2022.
'Stab in the back'
The lawsuit, initiated by The Democratic Labour Party (PDT), accuses Bolsonaro of attempting to undermine democracy in Brazil and seeking to undermine Lula's victory in the presidential elections held last October.
During the trial, the TSE presented a draft decree that was discovered in the residence of Anderson Torres, former Minister of Justice, during a raid conducted by the federal police in January.
According to the federal police, the document aimed to seize control of the TSE offices after Lula's victory and overturn the outcome of the election.
In reaction to the ruling, Bolsonaro said he would appeal a court decision which he described as a "stab in the back."
"I'm not dead, we're going to keep working," Bolsonaro told journalists.