Explaining Brazil #144: Lula v. Bolsonaro

Lula has regained his political rights and is set to face off against Bolsonaro next year. What can we expect from this clash of titans?

This is the second installment of our two-part episode on the melancholic end of Operation Car Wash — the biggest anti-corruption effort ever seen in Brazil. In Part 1, we talked to political analyst Alex Hochuli about what Brazilians hoped Operation Car Wash would be — and what it really was. In Part 2, we discuss the Lula v. Jair Bolsonaro electoral faceoff, which now seems inevitable.

With his political rights reinstated, the former president (who ruled Brazil between 2003 and 2010) is the presumed candidate for his Workers’ Party in 2022. And many political experts believe he is the only one who can unseat incumbent Jair Bolsonaro — despite growing voter dissatisfaction with the uncontrolled pandemic and enhanced economic uncertainty.

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  • Alberto Carlos Almeida is a political scientist and author of The Brazilian Vote, a book which tries to understand how Brazilian voters think by analyzing electoral results and crossing that data with socioeconomic indicators.

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