Lula is the least of Bolsonaro’s problems

Rising inflation, an uncontrolled pandemic, and massive economic uncertainty should keep Bolsonaro up at night — much more than Lula

Lula is the least of Bolsonaro problems
Bolsonaro during a trip to the northeast — the region where he is the least popular. Photo: Alan Santos/PR

When the Brazilian Supreme Court quashed all convictions against former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and reinstated his political rights, it kicked off the 2022 presidential race some 19 months before ballots are cast. The return of a popular and polarizing politician to the Brazilian electoral milieu comes as the government faces a delicate mix of rising inflation, threats of strikes, a ferocious coronavirus outbreak, and the lingering absence of a cash-transfer policy to aid vulnerable families.

To make matters worse for the Bolsonaro administration, Lula appears to be channeling his 2002 “Peace and Love” persona,...

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