BRASILIA (Reuters) - Fifty center-left members of the European Parliament urged the European Union on Wednesday to closely monitor Sunday's election in Brazil for any attempt by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro to subvert democracy, and said trade sanctions should be imposed if he did.
In an open letter to the European Commission's president, Ursula von der Leyen, and its vice-president, Josep Borrell, the Greens–European Free Alliance and some Social Democrat MEPs said Bolsonaro has systematically attacked Brazil's electoral system.
"We urge you to take additional steps to make it unequivocally clear to President Bolsonaro and his government that Brazil's Constitution must be respected and attempts to subvert the rules of democracy are unacceptable," it said.
"The EU should state that it will use different levers, including trade, to defend Brazil's democracy and human rights," the MEPs said.
Bolsonaro is trailing his leftist rival, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and is expected to contest the result if he does not win re-election. He has claimed electoral authorities will rig the vote against him and made unfounded allegations of fraud in Brazil’s electronic voting system.
The latest poll by IPEC shows Lula has slightly increased his lead to 17 percentage ahead of Sunday's first-round vote, with 48% of voter support to 31% for Bolsonaro. The poll showed Lula could win outright in the first round, with 52% of voter intentions excluding abstentions and null votes.
If the race goes to a runoff, Lula would win by 54% of the votes versus Bolsonaro's 35%, according to the IPEC poll published on Monday, which had a margin of error of 2 percentage points.
(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Paul Simao)