De Moraes takes over as Brazil’s TSE Chief Justice

De Moraes takes over as Brazil’s TSE Chief Justice

Wednesday, August 17th 2022 – 07:47 UTC

“It is time to trust the future and, above all, time to respect, defend, strengthen, and consecrate democracy,” De Moraes said

Alexandre De Moraes Tuesday received a standing ovation after his speech in defense of democracy upon becoming Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court Chief Justice.

 The magistrate, who succeeded Edson Fachin at the post, also defended the country’s electronic voting system, which President Jair Bolsonaro has criticized heavily. Ricardo Lewandowski became the TSE’s new Deputy CJ.

De Moraes began his speech by stating that the Electoral Judiciary acts with transparency and honors its historical vocation to make democracy a reality. “We are the only democracy in the world that compiles and publishes the electoral results on the same day, with agility, security, competence, and transparency. This is a matter of national pride,” he said.

About the electronic ballot boxes, the magistrate insisted that the system will always be improved, a fact that guarantees the disclosure of the results on the same day of the voting. “Brazilians typed with confidence their vote, waiting for the counting, the proclamation of the result on the same day for the security, tranquility, and pride of our voters,” he said.

The judge added that the exercise of democracy guarantees the periodic possibility for the voter to choose his representatives.

“Respect for institutions is the only path to growth and strengthening of the Republic, and the strength of democracy as the only political regime, where all power emanates from the people and must be exercised for the good of the people.”

At the end of his speech, De Moraes called for democracy to be respected. “It is time for unity. It is time to trust the future and, above all, time to respect, defend, strengthen, and consecrate democracy,” he went on.

Brazil’s Attorney General Augusto Aras said his office would work together with the TSE in defense of free elections. “We are united in the defense of the electoral system, in the fight against misinformation and abuses of any nature. We are attentive and vigilant in sustaining the democratic regime,” he pointed out.

Brazilian Bar Association Chairman Beto Simonetti said that respect for the popular will and the free vote are pre-requisites of democracy. “We call on the candidates to assume a pact of respect and obedience to the electoral rules. Let everyone have the conviction that the only way forward is to respect the election results.”

De Moraes graduated from the Largo de São Francisco Law School and has a Ph.D. in State Law. In 2016, he became Justice Minister. The following year, after the death of STF Judge Teori Zavascki, he was nominated by former President Michel Temer to the Supreme Federal Court (STF). He joined the TSE in 2017 as a substitute magistrate and became a full member in June 2020.

The TSE is composed of seven justices, three from the STF, two from the Superior Court of Justice (STJ), and two members of the legal profession, as well as their alternates. (Source: Agencia Brasil)

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