2022 Race

After Lollapalooza controversy, Congress could change election rules

Lollapalooza Congressman Marcelo Ramos. Photo: Paulo Sergio/CD/CC-BY 4.0
Congressman Marcelo Ramos. Photo: Paulo Sergio/CD/CC-BY 4.0

Over the weekend, allies of President Jair Bolsonaro tried to prevent artists from voicing political views during the Lollapalooza music festival in São Paulo. The move failed due to filing errors and moreover encouraged artists to speak out politically even more.

Now, a bill in the House wants to clarify the electoral code so that artists can manifest their political views on candidates, without falling foul of premature campaigning rules. (Brazilian electoral legislation is strict about the period in which politicians are allowed to solicit votes.)

Deputy House Speaker Marcelo Ramos, who drafted the bill, says “all citizens are protected by freedom of expression principles, be it to speak in favor or against a candidate.” Mr. Ramos said that his bill codifies an understanding held by the Supreme Court, according to which artists are authorized to take part in political fundraising events.