Last year, rumors that President Michel Temer was pondering a run for reelection were considered a joke. Temer is the most unpopular president in Brazilian democratic history. Actually, Temer is the most unpopular leader in the world, according to a 2017 survey by Eurasia. With just 3 percent of voters on his side, Temer is disliked more than the likes of Nicolás Maduro, who drove Venezuela to a complete economic collapse, and Jacob Zuma, who was forced by his own party to step down as President of South Africa.
In less than two years in office, the Brazilian president faced two indictment requests – which were both rejected, thanks to pork-barreling and political corporatism. His cabinet includes men investigated by corruption, and two of his former ministers are currently in jail. Temer has lost political strength and has not been able to approve the core point of his economic agenda: the pension reform. Until a few days ago, believing that Temer could run a competitive campaign for reelection was, suffice it to say, pretty delusional.
That is, until the Rio intervention happened.