Explaining Brazil #98: Should Congress impeach Jair Bolsonaro?

By asking supporters to take to the streets and ask for the shutdown of Congress and "the end of the Supreme Court," Bolsonaro may finally have gone too far

Carnival usually brings a stop to the Brazilian political news cycle—with Congress taking a break and pretty much no one staying in the capital city of Brasília. But under Jair Bolsonaro, Carnival has been quite an eventful holiday for political news. In 2019, for instance, he made a now-infamous tweet about … golden showers.

But this year, the president outdid himself by sharing a video on WhatsApp inviting his supporters to join a protest on March 15. Among the demands of this demonstration is the complete shutdown of Congress and the Supreme Court — institutions which Bolsonaro’s allies accuse of trying to reduce the president’s power to carry out his agenda.

Congress leaders have called out Jair Bolsonaro in unison, and some opponents are even talking about impeachment.

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On this episode:

  • Fernando Bizzarro is a Ph.D. researcher in Political Science at Harvard’s Department of Government. His research is focused on the nature, causes, and consequences of political institutions, particularly on political parties, regimes, and their impacts on human and economic development.

Background reading:

Explaining Brazil is made by:

  • Gustavo Ribeiro, editor in chief of The Brazilian Report. He has extensive experience covering Brazilian politics. His work has been featured across Brazilian and French media outlets, including Veja, Época, Folha de S.Paulo, Médiapart, and Radio France Internationale.
  • Euan Marshall, editing. Euan is a journalist and translator who has lived in São Paulo, Brazil since 2011. Specializing in Brazilian soccer, politics and the connection between the two, his work has been published in The Telegraph, Al Jazeera, The Independent, among others.

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