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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

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Bolsonaro celebrates three years in power with the polls and Lula on the horizon

President Brazilian, Jair Bolsonaro, this January 1 meets three years in power, but begins 2022 worn out and with the October elections on a horizon for which the former president is emerging as the favorite Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Brazil will return to the polls on October 2 and the polls unanimously say that the first president that the extreme right has given the country has a voting intention of between 20 and 25%, compared to almost 50% that they attribute to him. the progressive Lula, his greatest antagonist in politics.

The acute attrition suffered by the conservative leader since he won the 2018 elections with 55% of the vote is considered by analysts as a direct result of his firm denial in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has already killed almost 620,000 Brazilians, and the growing economic difficulties of the country.

“Gripecita”, a stagnant economy and abandoned liberalism

Since the coronavirus arrived in Brazil, in March 2020, the president has opposed all kinds of preventive measures, censured the use of masks, minimized the health crisis, made fun of the sick and until today he denies vaccines, which he describes of “experimental” and whose efficacy he doubts.

The relationship between survey support and vaccines seems almost straightforward. About 80% of voters have applied them, compared to 20% who still remain like Bolsonaro himself, who usually boasts of not having been immunized.

Beyond his denial of COVID-19, which he came to call a “little flu”, Bolsonaro begins his fourth year in government with a stagnant economy, which is estimated to have grown around 4% in 2021, after falling into a similar proportion in 2020, as a consequence of the health crisis.

Projections for 2022 are uncertain, but in the best of cases, insufficient growth of 0.5% is expected, with an inflation rate of around 10%, unemployment close to 12% and some 50 million people, representing little less than a quarter of the Brazilian population, in a situation of food insecurity.

This scenario has aroused suspicions in the private sectors, which in 2018 were deluded with the liberalism proclaimed by Bolsonaro, who finally left those ideas behind and appealed to public money to finance social programs of a clear populist tint pointing to the next elections.

Disbanded to the right and problems with the law

Bolsonaro also faces storms in his own ranks and already many more moderate conservatives have distanced themselves, in part due to the radical positions of minority groups on the far right that form the base of support for the government.

Those ultras cells, encouraged in part by Bolsonaro himself, kept democratic institutions under threat in 2021 and called for numerous acts in which they demanded a “military intervention” to “suppress” Parliament and the Supreme Court.

Justice took action on the matter and both Bolsonaro and two of his sons and many activists around him are being investigated by the Supreme Court, which also has yet to analyze other accusations against the president.

One of the most serious was formulated by a Senate commission that investigated the possible omissions of the Government in the face of the COVID-19 crisis and accused Bolsonaro, among other crimes, of “crimes against humanity.”

With this scenario, the far-right leader will try to renew his mandate and, although Lula has not finished confirming his candidacy, no one doubts that his name will be at the polls in October.

“We are going to work in 2022 so that all Brazilians can have a dignified life and once again be a country that is filled with pride. I will never give up fighting for a better tomorrow, ”Lula wrote on his social networks in his last message in 2021.

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