March 30, 2023

The Brazilian right and post-Bolsonaro

Lula da Silva’s victory in the October presidential elections. Voluntary exile of former President Jair Bolsonaro to the United States in late December on the eve of his successor’s inauguration; Invasion of Praça dos Três Poderes in Brasilia in January by Bolsonaro protesters unhappy with the election result. It cannot be denied that politics in Brazil have been in turmoil in recent months and public opinion has been deeply divided over the former metallurgist’s return to power, two decades after he was first elected. But the promises of these four years until the new presidential elections continue to cause doubts. Bolsonaro, a former army captain who, after many years as a controversial but insignificant member of parliament, was elected president in 2018, has a chance to return to the country, leading the right and, once again, embodying the anti-Lula and the anti-left. most Brazilians, to be candidates in 2026?

There is certainly no single answer. But in a recent lunchtime conversation at Cícero Bistrot, a new Lisbon restaurant that wants to help strengthen Luso-Brazilian relations, Christian Lynch, co-author of the book Populismo Reacionário: Ascensão e Legado do Bolsonarismo, offered his vision of the season. come, that is, the departure from the stage of the former president, whom I quote here: “The general expectation was that Bolsonaro, even defeated, as the maximum figure of the right, would become the leader of the opposition to Lula. That didn’t happen because he preferred to worry about leaving da Justiça, getting killed, and plotting a coup that would keep him in power. He preferred to leave Brazil for fear of imprisonment, which became more likely with the reactionary attempt on January 8.”

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