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Far-right influence will outlast Brazil's Bolsonaro

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Significance

After four years in office, Bolsonaro lost the October presidential run-off to former President and centre-left leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. However, the thin margin of Bolsonaro's defeat as well as the election of many allies to the Senate, the Lower House and state governorships highlight the continuing strength of extreme conservatism in Brazil.

Impacts

  • From an economic policy standpoint, Brazilian social conservatism is an ad hoc mix of neoliberal and populist elements.
  • The presence of a large conservative evangelical caucus in Congress will increase Lula’s reliance on the Centrao group.
  • A conservative Congress will make it harder for the new centre-left-led government to push for progressive legislation on ‘cultural’ issues.
  • Governors such as Romeu Zema (Minas Gerais) and Tarcisio Gomes de Freitas (Sao Paulo) may be future presidential hopefuls.

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