(Bloomberg) -- President Jair Bolsonaro filed a complaint against Justice Alexandre de Moraes for alleged abuse of power, escalating a crisis with Brazil’s top court ahead of October’s presidential election.
Bolsonaro said Moraes, one of the 11 justices of the court, is disrespecting the constitution as well as his fundamental rights for extending an investigation into alleged spread of fake news by the president for an “exaggerated” amount of time and “in the absence of wrongdoing,” according to a statement released by a congressional government leader late Monday. The complaint was sent to Supreme Court chief Justice Luiz Fux.
Moraes has ordered probes into Bolsonaro and his allies, and even jailed some of them, for allegedly spreading falsehoods about the safety of the country’s electronic voting system and participating in antidemocratic acts. In March, he briefly banned the messaging service Telegram, widely used by the president’s supporters, for failing to comply with court orders.
The complaint represents yet another clash between Bolsonaro and the top court. In the past few days, the president has stepped up criticism of Moraes and repeated claims that Brazil’s election can be stolen, without presenting evidence. Last year, he sought to impeach the justice but had his request rejected by Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco.
Read More: Bolsonaro Wages Trumpian Campaign to Sow Doubts About Voting
Moraes is set to preside over Brazil’s electoral court starting in September, just one month before Bolsonaro will seek a second term. Brazil’s election is widely seen as a two-men race between the incumbent and former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
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