The ends without the means: the government’s political disarray

bolsonaro political disarray
President Bolsonaro (center) and Economy Minister Paulo Guedes (R). Photo: Marcos Corrêa/PR

The beginning of the Jair Bolsonaro government was defined by the far-right president’s decision not to form a coalition in Congress. Claiming that he was putting an end to horse-trading in Brasília, Mr. Bolsonaro gambled on a new kind of relationship between the Executive and the Legislative.

Congress was given autonomy to further the government’s agenda in any way it saw fit. If the president were to be unhappy with the results, he would resort to his veto power to make the changes he deemed necessary. At the same time, Congress could suspend the vetoes it would inconvenient. In the...

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