Brazil's Bolsonaro to wait 'a bit longer' to recognize winner of U.S. election

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro gives a thumbs up after voting during the municipal elections in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, November 29, 2020. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro said on Sunday he will wait "a little bit longer" to recognize a winner in the U.S. presidential election, suggesting there was evidence of fraud in the process.

After voting in local elections in Rio de Janeiro, Bolsonaro, an ally of U.S. President Donald Trump, said he had heard the U.S. vote was rigged, but presented no evidence.

"I have sources and they said there was a lot of fraud," Bolsonaro said of the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 3. "Whether it was enough to change the result, I don't know."

Bolsonaro also questioned the legitimacy of Brazil's electoral process, decrying its electronic voting system and calling for a return to paper voting.

"You need to have a more reliable way to vote and the count has to be public," he said. "You cannot have half a dozen people count the vote nationwide," he said of protocols currently in place for consolidating the ballots.

Despite Democrat Joe Biden winning the U.S. presidential race with 306 Electoral College votes to Trump's 232, Bolsonaro and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador are two rare heads of state who have not recognized Biden's victory.

On Sunday, Trump's chances of overturning the election result appeared to dwindle as he questioned whether the U.S. Supreme Court would ever hear a case airing his unproven claims of widespread voter fraud, and senior U.S. Republicans said a transition to a Biden presidency looked inevitable.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier; Writing by Ana Mano; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

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