Brazil’s 1922 election contains lessons for this year

The 1922 presidential election in Brazil, during which the Armed Forces were courted by the losing candidate, was followed by a military uprising. This year, the politicization of the military once again looms large over Brazilian politics

1922 election lessons for this year
President Artur Bernardes (center), pictured with his cabinet, had his 1922 election win challenged. Photo: National Archive

President Jair Bolsonaro, who has yet to lead former head of state Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in any opinion poll this year, has made no secret of his intent to muck up the results of this year’s election. 

His authoritarian refrain is by now familiar: the same voting machines that produced his victory in 2018 are now suspect, “the left” is conspiring with the press and other branches of government to oust him illegitimately, foreign powers aligned against Brazilian interests are moving to support his leading opponent, and so on. 

Nevertheless, unless something drastically changes, Brazil seems set to...

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