Insider

VP downplays impeachment chances following vaccine scandal

vp Vice Presidente Hamilton Mourão (left) and President Jair Bolsonaro. Photo: Marcelo Camargo/ABr
Vice Presidente Hamilton Mourão (left) and President Jair Bolsonaro. Photo: Marcelo Camargo/ABr

On Wednesday morning, Vice President Hamilton Mourão said the recent corruption allegations involving the government’s pursuit of coronavirus vaccines will not be enough to oust President Jair Bolsonaro.

“We are just over a year away from the next elections. Let’s let the process go on and in October 2022 we’ll see what happens,” said Mr. Mourão.

While the vice president is expected to defend his boss, the declaration goes some way toward quashing any hope Mr. Bolsonaro’s opposition may harbor of ousting the embattled president. Later today, a group of organizations will submit a so-called “super impeachment request” to House Speaker Arthur Lira, combining all previous petitions for the president’s removal. Newspaper Folha de S. Paulo reported that Mr. Bolsonaro has committed “at least ten crimes” over the last three weeks.

As we explain in this week’s episode of our podcast, Congress would only move to oust a sitting president once they are completely sure about what to expect from the replacement administration. By asking political actors to wait for Jair Bolsonaro’s term to expire, Mr. Mourão makes any chance of impeachment very remote indeed.