Brazil’s Ultra-Conservative Surge and the 2022 Presidential Elections: Is Bolsonaro Over Yet?

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Abstract

This year, Brazil’s presidential race is marred by abyssal political divides, threats of electoral violence, and continuous attacks on the electoral system by incumbent president Jair Bolsonaro. If Bolsonaro’s re-election bid is frustrated, there are increasing fears that his support base might stage a coup d’état or instigate disruption to the power transition similar to that seen in the United States (US) during the Capitol Hill attacks in January 2020. The “clash of political titans” between far-right President Jair Bolsonaro from the Liberal Party (PL) and left-leaning former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva from the Workers Party (PT) was foreseen, but political tensions will soar as the first-round of elections approaches in October. The current levels of political polarisation and fears of a democratic rupture have not been seen since Brazil’s re-democratisation period.

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