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Brazil’s scandal-ridden president may face reckoning as lawmakers consider dismissal

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But the last day may come earlier than expected, with a majority of Brazilians for the first time in favor of lawmakers initiating dismissal proceedings against their controversial leader, according to recent polls.

While the removal is far from certain, a Datafolha poll found that 54% of Brazilians supported a legislative proposal to open removal proceedings against Bolsonaro. The July poll also found that 51% of Brazilians considered Bolsonaro’s presidency “bad” or “horrible.”

The Bolsonaro government has been implicated in allegations of corruption, which resulted in a parliamentary inquiry into the government’s management of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the country is struggling for the devastating impact of its haphazard response to Covid-19.

There have been about 20 million cases of the virus reported in Brazil, according to the Johns Hopkins University Database, placing it third in the world after the United States and India. The death toll has exceeded 544,000 and there are still more than a thousand deaths every day. Only about 16% of the population is vaccinated.
Bolsonaro has been in the middle of the storm, having minimized the severity of the virus from the beginning. This week, the president criticized the governors for taking restrictive measures to contain the spread.

“Many rulers have closed everything. They have destroyed jobs, mostly informal ones. We have in Brazil about 38 million people who live from day to day, who work in the morning to eat at night,” he said. “They have lost everything. If there was no emergency aid from the federal government, these people would be doomed to starvation.”

The so-called “Trump of the Tropics” he has also addressed the media.

During an interview on the public channel TV Brasil on Tuesday, Bolsonaro criticized the Brazilian press and congratulated the management of the pandemic by his government.

“I have a clear conscience,” Bolsonaro said. “Brazil is one of the countries that has performed best during the pandemic period. Congratulations to Brazil. I am grateful to my team of 22 ministers.”

In July 2020, Bolsonaro announced that he tested positive for Covid-19, after months of minimizing the virus. He and his government have resisted blocking measures and the use of masks. Angry citizens, political opponents and overwhelmed local officials have pressured Bolsonaro for further federal action, although he has publicly dismissed those concerns.

Investigations and investigations into corruption

The Brazilian Senate’s investigation into the government’s response could hamper Bolsonaro’s re-election candidacy if it leads to impeachment proceedings or criminal charges.

While political analysts consider these results unlikely, Bolsonaro’s future may depend on his ability to keep the peace with the legislators responsible for these procedures.

Opposition leader in the Senate, Randolfe Rodrigues, said what began as an investigation into omissions and misconduct has become an investigation into corruption.

The allegations include allegations that Bolsonaro and his government sabotaged isolation measures, threatened governors and mayors who applied restrictive measures, and refused to use masks or encourage their use. Brazilians have taken to the streets in large numbers to demand a better response.
Protesters are taking part in a protest against the manipulation of the pandemic in Sao Paulo by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
The investigation has also revealed explosive statements from a witness who warned Bolsonaro that a vaccine deal with extra cash was being proposed for corrupt officials. The parliamentary inquiry commission (IPC) has opened an investigation on the agreement to purchase 20 million doses of Covaxin vaccines manufactured in India, by 1,000% more than the price initially quoted.

Congressman Luis Miranda, a former ally of Bolsonaro, and his brother Luis Ricardo Miranda, an employee of the Ministry of Health, said they warned the president of irregularities in the contract, but did nothing to resolve the issue. Bolsonaro told Radio Gaucha, “When I can pass myself by, I can’t take action. I meet more than 100 people a month.”

Bolsonaro complained that the CPI too often accuses him of corruption. “Do you want to expel me from the government?” He said. “Only God (can) get me out of this chair. Didn’t they understand that only God takes me out of this chair? If there is corruption in the government, I will be the first to find out and leave it in the hands of justice “.

He has accused the CPI of ignoring other allegations of corruption throughout Brazil to focus on him and his government. “They want to accuse me of genocide. Now, tell me in which country people have not died? This CPI has no credibility,” Bolsonaro said. The president added that “he is sorry for the dead, but people who were healthy had little chance of dying.”

Risk of dismissal

Political analyst Marco A. Teixeira told CNN that while it is unlikely, Bolsonaro could be at risk of being charged. University professor Getulio Vargas (FGV-SP) said that although it is not yet clear where the research will lead, the Bolsonaro government is committed.

Teixeira predicted a “difficult scenario” for Bolsonaro ahead of the October 2022 presidential election, with the Datafolha poll showing him at the end likely rival and former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

“It’s a different situation than in the last election, because he’s already being tried and he has pending explanations to give to society. He lost the opposition position. He can no longer say he ‘will do it’ because he’s already in government, “Teixeira said.

“Now his story is that the Supreme Court and Congress do not allow him to do anything … He has a narrative for every occasion,” Teixeira added.

Da Silva has hinted at a presidency in 2022 after they were convicted of corruption and money laundering canceled in March, effectively restoring his right to run for office.
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has hinted at a 2022 presidential race against Bolsonaro.
Da Silva has it hinted at a presidency in 2022 after his convictions for corruption and money laundering were overturned in March, effectively restoring his right to run for office.

Da Silva has saved the administration’s efforts to contain the outbreak, saying “there is no control in Brazil.” He described the closures as “necessary,” restrictions that Bolsonaro has often rejected.

“(Bolsonaro) prefers to wake up at 4 in the morning, tell his lies via cell phone, through social media and we’ve been producing fake news like we’ve never seen in Brazilian history and he’s not trying seriously, “da Silva said.

Competing to vote

Bolsonaro, like Trump during his re-election campaign, has raised doubts about the electronic voting machines used in Brazil, the same system by which he and his children were elected. He has been pushing for the country to use only printed ballots, claiming that previous elections were not demonstrated by electronic voting.

Teixeira explains that Bolsonaro’s recent health scare may work in his favor in terms of popularity. He suggests that supporters will gather around the president as they did at the time of his failed assassination attempt in 2018. An injury from that attempt has caused his current medical problems.

Bolsonaro’s eldest son, Senator Flávio Bolsonaro, tweeted about his father’s recent hospital stay: “President @jairbolsonaro has evolved for the better, woke up in a good mood and, if he continues like this, he won’t need surgery! Thank you all for your prayers! #Who ordered Bolsonaro’s murder. “

Teixeira explains that the hashtag used by Bolsonaro’s son shows an attempt to mobilize supporters online.

“Bolsonaro’s health problem creates a smokescreen that gives his family a kind of” revival “of the stab he suffered four years ago, showing an instrumentalization of something that had a significant weight in the past elections and that may affect voting intention for next year. ” Teixeira said.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro shares a photo of himself at the hospital on July 16.

Arriving at the hospital last week, Bolsonaro said Brazil is on the “path to prosperity” and thanked supporters for their prayers.

“This is what motivates us to move forward and face whatever it takes to get the country out of the grip of corruption, investment in values, organized crime and guaranteeing and protecting the freedom of our people,” Bolsonaro said.

“May God bless us and continue to enlighten our nation. A big hug! – Brazil above all; God above all!”

CNN’s Rodrigo Pedroso and Juliana Koch reported from Sao Paulo, and Samantha Beech reported and wrote from Atlanta.

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