Why did far-right Bolsonaro do so well in Brazil? The centre-right’s complete disregard for democracy

His rise is inconceivable without the political jockeying that led to Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment, and which severely undermined Brazilians’ faith in their democratic institutions. Desperate to oust a left-leaning party at any cost, they have paved the way for a demagogue

Bolsonaro, with no corruption charges of his own, has also capitalised on deeper, historic tensions in the ‘racial democracy’ of Brazil that never was
Bolsonaro, with no corruption charges of his own, has also capitalised on deeper, historic tensions in the ‘racial democracy’ of Brazil that never was

With 46 per cent of eligible votes, a far-right demagogue known for his racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and dictatorship-praising comments nearly won the presidency of Brazil outright in last night’s first-round elections. Over 49 million Brazilians voted for Jair Bolsonaro, a former army captain who rose from relatively obscurity throughout 27 years as a congressman for the state of Rio de Janeiro amidst the intertwined political and economic crisis that has recently mired the world’s fifth most populous country.

With scant economic and social policy proposals short of liberating gun ownership and bringing back Christian and family values, Bolsonaro has painted himself as the anti-establishment candidate, with many dubbing him the Trump of the Tropics. However, his praise of former dictators like Pinochet and his promise to allow police to shoot first and ask questions never, in a country that experienced over 60,000 murders last year, make Bolsonaro more similar to authoritarians like the Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte.

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