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Weekly Report - 16 September 2021 (WR-21-37)

BRAZIL: Centrists seek a ‘third way’

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has a poor record to show for his more than two-and-a-half years in government. His mismanagement of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, his attacks on the country’s democratic institutions, and his failure to revive the economy have left him with a dwindling support base. There is now a growing consensus in Brazil that Bolsonaro must go, whether that is through him being voted out in the October 2022 presidential elections or through impeachment proceedings before then. His opponents disagree, however, on what – or who – should come after. Opinion polls currently show that the left-wing former president Lula da Silva (2003-2011) would easily defeat Bolsonaro’s re-election bid next year, but he remains a divisive figure. Many in Brazil want to move beyond the Lula-Bolsonaro polarisation and are seeking a ‘third way’ candidate.

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