The disclosure of false allegations for electoral purposes could lead to detention of two to eight years, in addition to a fine. That’s because Congress overthrew President Jair Bolsonaro’s veto to an excerpt from Bill 1878/11, which typifies the crime of slanderous election denunciation.
The bill establishes the punishment for anyone who reports a person knowing that he is innocent to obtain electoral advantages. The text also extends the punishment for those who divulge lying allegations with the same purpose.
Bolsonaro vetoed the excerpt on the disclosure of lying allegations because he considered that the principle of proportionality would be violated. According to him, the penalty would be “much higher” than the disclosure of electoral slander, a similar crime whose penalty is from six months to two years of imprisonment and a fine.
Despite the justification, the lifting of the veto had 326 votes in favor and 84 against. In the Senate, there were 48 votes for the overturn of the veto and only 6 for its maintenance. The crime for those who create or disclose false electoral complaints will be typified in Law 13,834 / 19.
Fake news was very present in the 2018 elections. Facebook dropped dozens of pages and profiles that were part of a coordinated fake news network and there was even a request to restrict the forwarding of messages on WhatsApp in the days leading up to the 2nd round.
The matter will be discussed in the Joint Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (CPMI), which will determine whether there was use of fake news by the campaigns. According to Senate President Davi Alcolumbre (DEM-AP), the commission will be installed next week.