Brazil’s problem is more than just Jair Bolsonaro

The seeds of institutional turmoil in Brazil were sown long before Jair Bolsonaro came to power

bolsonaro institutional problem
President Jair Bolsonaro prepares to address the nation. Photo: Isac Nóbrega/PR

Over the course of less than a month, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro joined a rally in favor of a military coup to suspend the Congress and Supreme Court, broke with his most popular cabinet minister, and found himself the target of multiple investigations and calls for impeachment.

A former Army captain and an ardent admirer of the country’s military dictatorship (1964-1985), Mr. Bolsonaro has long championed authoritarian tactics. But once in power, he proved to be a poor administrator and an even worse negotiator. His incredibly popular Justice Minister Sergio Moro resigned after Mr. Bolsonaro allegedly attempted to...

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