‘No justification’ for Bolsonaro impeachment, says Speaker

Speaker Arthur Lira. Photo: Luis Macedo/CD
Speaker Arthur Lira. Photo: Luis Macedo/CD

Brazil’s House Speaker Arthur Lira has said that recent events have done nothing to change his mind over the possibility of opening impeachment proceedings against far-right President Jair Bolsonaro. According to Brazilian law, the speaker of the lower house is the only official with the power to launch an ousting process. Mr. Lira said that such matters can only take place under very particular circumstances, which he believes are not present at this time.

Mr. Lira is critical of the Senate’s hearings committee to investigate the government’s pandemic response, saying that the inquiry has produced nothing but hearsay against President Bolsonaro.

He noted that an impeachment process — which would be the country’s second in five years — would destabilize the economy and “grind Brazil to a halt for six months to a year.” The speaker added that the country “cannot become unstable every time we elect a new president.”

Left-wing organizations have staged three rounds of street protests against Mr. Bolsonaro, and plan a fourth for July 24. They hope to gather support from the center-right and compel Mr. Lira to open an impeachment process.