Opinion

Brazil’s ‘Big Center’ is more ideological than it looks

Often treated as a gold-digging group of ideology-free parties, the so-called 'Big Center' in Brazil's Congress is shaping up to be a cohesive pro-market right-wing political force

Brazil's 'Big Center' is more ideological than it looks
Jair Bolsonaro (center) sided by House Speaker Arthur Lira (left) and Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco (right). Photo: Marcos Correa/PR

The first movements of Congressman Arthur Lira as the new House Speaker were by no means coincidental. Among the first bills he put to a vote was a proposal granting the Central Bank formal independence from the government — something Brazilian economists have debated over for the last 30 years or more. Besides being a strictly pro-market move, it was also a way for Mr. Lira to prove he is powerful enough to build consensus and overcome the leftist opposition in the House. When approving the bill, he was able to whip many more votes than the minimum...

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