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Party Urges Electoral Authorities To Act On Whatsapp Election Messages



The Workers Party of leftist Brazilian presidential candidate Fernando Haddad on Friday urged electoral authorities to take swift action over a flood of misinformation by WhatsApp they blamed on the far-right frontrunner, Jair Bolsonaro.

“We need urgent action. We are calling on the tribunal to speed things up,” the party’s leader, Gleisi Hoffmann, said in Brasilia after meeting the head of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, Rosa Weber.

The plea was made a day after Haddad accused Bolsonaro of being behind a “defamatory” WhatsApp campaign trafficking lies against him, following a press report that companies had been hired to bulk message voters with attacks on the Workers Party.

Bolsonaro has denied the allegations, and said he was not responsible for what his supporters might do.

WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, is the preferred social media service for Brazilians. As an October 28 run-off between Bolsonaro and Haddad nears, the app is being used to transmit viral messages for and against each candidate.

The Workers Party contends the reported contracts to attack it on WhatsApp amount to illegal financing of Bolsonaro’s campaign and has lodged a formal complaint with the electoral tribunal.

The tribunal has not said whether it would launch an investigation. Weber and other officials were to give a media conference on Sunday to talk about issues raised from the first round of the election on October 7.




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