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Bolsonaro: Brazil’s scandal-plagued president could be charged as lawmakers consider impeachment amid dwindling support

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But that final day could come sooner than expected, with a majority of Brazilians for the first time in favor of lawmakers launching impeachment proceedings against their controversial leader, according to recent polls.

While impeachment is far from certain, a Datafolha poll found that 54% of Brazilians support a proposed move by lawmakers to open impeachment proceedings against Bolsonaro. The July poll also found that 51% of Brazilians viewed Bolsonaro’s presidency as “bad” or “terrible”.

Bolsonaro’s government has been implicated in corruption charges, prompting a parliamentary inquiry into the government’s handling of the pandemic.

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

According to the Johns Hopkins University database, nearly 20 million cases of the virus have been reported in Brazil, ranking it third in the world after the United States and India. The death toll has passed 544,000 and there are still more than a thousand deaths a day. Only about 16% of the population is vaccinated.
Bolsonaro has been at the center of the storm and has downplayed the severity of the virus from the start. This week, the president criticized governors for taking restrictive measures to contain the spread.

“A lot of governors have shut everything down. They have destroyed jobs, especially informal ones. We have about 38 million people in Brazil who live from day to day, who work in the morning to eat in the evening,” he said. “They have lost everything. If there were no emergency aid from the federal government, these people would have been starved to death.”

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

During an interview with public broadcaster TV Brasil on Tuesday, Bolsonaro criticized the Brazilian press and congratulated his government’s handling of the pandemic.

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

In July 2020, Bolsonaro announced he tested positive for Covid-19, after months of downplaying the virus. He and his government have opposed lockdown measures and the wearing of masks. Angry citizens, political opponents and overwhelmed local officials have urged Bolsonaro for more federal action, even though he has publicly dismissed those concerns.

Corruption Investigations and Investigations

Brazil’s Senate inquiry into the government’s response could hinder Bolsonaro’s re-election bid if it leads to impeachment proceedings or criminal charges.

While these results are considered unlikely by political analysts, Bolsonaro’s future may depend on his ability to keep peace with lawmakers responsible for such proceedings.

Senate Opposition Leader Randolfe Rodrigues said what started as an investigation into negligence and misconduct has now evolved into a corruption investigation.

The allegations include allegations that Bolsonaro and his government sabotaged isolation measures, threatened governors and mayors who applied restrictive measures, and refused to wear masks or encourage their use. Brazilians have taken to the streets in droves to demand a better answer.
Protesters take part in a protest against Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's handling of the pandemic in Sao Paulo.
The investigation has also uncovered explosive claims by a witness that Bolsonaro had been warned that a proposed vaccine deal was being filled with extra money for corrupt officials. The Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (CPI) has opened an investigation into the deal to buy 20 million doses of India-made Covaxin vaccines, for 1,000% more than the price initially quoted.

Congressman Luis Miranda, a former ally of Bolsonaro, and his brother Luis Ricardo Miranda, a health ministry employee, said they warned the president about irregularities in the contract, but he did nothing to fix the problem. Bolsonaro told Radio Gaucha: “I can’t just take action when something comes to my mind. I meet more than 100 people a month.”

Speaking on Sunday as he was released from hospital, Bolsonaro complained that the CPI accuses him of corruption too often. “Do you want to kick me out of government?” he said. “Only God (can) get me out of that chair. Didn’t they understand that only God can get me out of that chair? If there’s any corruption in the government, I’ll be the first to find out and put it in the hands of justice.”

He has accused the CPI of ignoring other corruption allegations across Brazil in order to focus on him and his government. “They want to accuse me of genocide. Tell me in which country people have not died? This CPI is not credible,” said Bolsonaro. The president added that he was “sorry about the deaths, but people who were healthy had little chance of dying.”

deposition risk

Political analyst Marco A. Teixeira told CNN that Bolsonaro, while unlikely, is at risk of impeachment. The professor from Getulio Vargas University (FGV-SP) said that while it is not yet clear where the investigation will lead, Bolsonaro’s government is in danger.

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

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

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

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

Da Silva has nullified the government’s efforts to contain the outbreak, saying: “There is no control in Brazil.” He described lockdowns as “necessary” — restrictions Bolsonaro has often rejected.

“(Bolsonaro) prefers to wake up at 4 in the morning, telling his lies on his cell phone, via social media, and we have produced fake news like we’ve never seen in the history of Brazil, and he doesn’t act seriously da Silva said.

Battle for votes

Bolsonaro — like Trump during his reelection campaign — has cast doubt on the electronic voting machines used in Brazil, the same system that elected him and his sons. He urged the country to use only printed ballots, making unproven claims that previous elections had been rigged with electronic voting.

Teixeira explains that Bolsonaro’s recent health scares may work in his favor in terms of his popularity. He proposes that supporters rally around the president as they did at the time of his failed assassination attempt in 2018. An injury from that attempt has led to 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, he woke up in a good mood and if he continues like this he won’t need surgery! Thank you all for your prayers! #WhoOrderedTheBolsonaroAssassination.”

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

“Bolsonaro’s health problem is creating a smokescreen that gives his family a sort of ‘revival’ of the sting he took four years ago, showing an instrumentalization of something that had significant weight in the past election and that may change voting intent for next year.” affect,” Teixeira said.

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

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

“That is what motivates us to move forward and tackle whatever it takes to get the country out of the grip of corruption, inversion of values, organized crime and to guarantee and protect the freedom of our people,” he said. Bolsonaro.

“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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