Tuesday (July 26th): Bolsonaro’s Campaign Launch

Name? Jair Bolsonaro 

(Brasília – DF, 24/04/2019) Pronunciamento do Presidente da República, Jair Bolsonaro. Foto: Isac Nóbrega/PR

Westphalian identity? Brazilian 

Age? 67

Why is he in the news? President Jair Bolsonaro’s  campaign for the upcoming October elections launched yesterday. Championing himself as the ‘captain of the people’, Bolsonaro has promised to retain Brazilian welfare systems, which saved his presidency during the pandemic. He is also on campaign to discredit the country’s electronic voting system. 

Why do we care? Bolsonaro’s presidency has been marked by controversy and political defeats that make this election an uphill battle. From the supreme court denying him electoral reform and a failed social media bill, Bolsonaro’s administration has faced multiple setbacks. Approval ratings plummeted during the pandemic, and with political heavyweight Luis Inacio Lula da Silva back on the scene, chances of reelection are looking slim. 

Why should you care? The October elections will likely see a big shift in Brazil. Former President Lula da Silva, who is considered Brazil’s best ever president (his words, not ours) has promised increased economic intervention and social welfare programmes. Bolsonaro is trailing in the polls, with Lula poised to take up his old office, leading with 46% against Bolsonaro’s 32%.

Who else cares? Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Lula has been clear about his desire to develop relations between Brazil and Mexico. The former President has claimed that if elected, he will work to consolidate the political relationship between his own leftist party and AMLO’s Morena party. No doubt AMLO will see the value  in warmer relations with the biggest economy in Latin America. 

Any further comments? The future is not looking good for Bolsonaro. His promises back in 2021 that ‘only God will remove me from power’ are disconcerting to say the least, with the Supreme Court already expressing fears of resistance should Lula win the presidency. Protests are likely from Bolsonaro’s more die hard supporters, who will highlight the annulled corruption charges against Lula. However, a majority of Brazilians will welcome their prodigal son back to office.