The Superior Electoral Court (TSE) upheld today (28) the decision that fined federal deputy Nikolas Ferreira (PL-MG) by R$ 30,000 during last year’s elections.
The court judged an appeal by the congressman’s defense to suspend the decision of the president of the TSE, Minister Alexandre de Moraes, who, in addition to fining the then candidate, determined the removal of a video published against the campaign of then candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva .
The coalition formed by the PT entered the TSE to remove a video in which Nikolas claimed that the party had embezzled R$ 242 million from health care.
When analyzing the refusal, Moraes maintained his understanding and said that the measure was taken to curb misinformation during the election.
‘The Electoral Justice has the duty to make decisions necessary instruments to guarantee our constitutional obligation to safeguard free and legitimate elections,’ he said.
The vote was followed by ministers Ricardo Lewandowski, Benedito Gonçalves, Sergio Banhos and Carlos Horbach.
Minister Cármen Lúcia also accompanied the majority and argued that the judgment does not deal with freedom of expression.
“In this case, there was disinformation with untrue data, promoting hate speech, which vitiates the electoral process because it prevents voters from having access to correct information”, he evaluated.
Justice Raul Araújo was the only one to vote for the acceptance of Nikolas’ appeal and defended minimal interference from the court to preserve democracy. For Araújo, there was no irregularity in the broadcast of the video.
“The contested political propaganda remained within the limits of freedom of expression and without relevant decontextualization of the candidate’s speech, to the point of altering the authentic content”, he concluded.
During the trial, Nikolas’s defense asked for the definitive dismissal of the case and argued that the deputy made political criticisms during the election period.