Explaining Brazil #23: The importance of picking the right vice president

In October 2009, the historian Luiz Felipe de Alencastro wrote that it was a risk for Dilma Rousseff to have Michel Temer as her vice president. Mr. Temer embodies the gargantuan appetite of his pork barrel Brazilian Democratic Movement party.

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It would be, as Mr. Alencastro asserted, the marriage between someone who had never received a single vote in her life with a career politician who handles the congressional machine better than anyone.

Criticized by the left for forming an alliance with Mr. Temer and his party, Lula said in 2009 that “in Brazil, Jesus would be forced to make a coalition with Judas if he wanted to govern.” Almost nine years later, we can’t think of a more appropriate way to describe Rousseff’s political marriage to Temer. In 2016, Temer actively conspired to get Rousseff removed from the presidency – and has, as his reward, occupied Brazil’s highest office since May 2016.

In two months, Brazilians will choose a new president. This past weekend, though, it was our candidates’ turn to choose their running mates. We explain why that matters.

On this podcast

Gustavo Ribeiro has extensive experience covering Brazilian politics. His work has been featured across Brazilian and French media outlets, including Veja, Época, Folha de São Paulo, Médiapart and Radio France Internationale. He is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Abril Prize for outstanding political journalism. He holds a master’s degree in Political Science and Latin American studies from Panthéon-Sorbonne University in Paris.

Diogo Rodriguez is a journalist and social scientist. He has contributed to publications such as Folha de S. Paulo, Estado de S. Paulo, Trip, Vida Simples, Galileu, Mundo Estranho, Exame, and Vice, among others. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in political science at the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo.

This podcast was produced by Maria Martha Bruno. She is a journalist with 14 years of experience in politics, arts, and breaking news. She has collaborated with Al Jazeera, NBC, and CNN, among others, and worked as an international correspondent in Buenos Aires.

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