In one of the most turbulent sessions Brazil’s Senate has ever seen, the chamber has finally elected a new president. Senator Davi Alcolumbre, of the right-wing Democratas party, gathered 42 out of 81 votes, despite running practically unopposed after a series of twists and turns which disgraced the upper house of Congress. Veteran Senator Renan Calheiros, one of the most powerful powerbrokers in Brazilian politics, removed his candidacy at the last minute and will move to the opposition, which could spell trouble for the Bolsonaro government.
Unlike the lower House of Representatives, which re-elected Rodrigo Maia with no fanfare, yesterday’s voting session in the Senate was unbridled chaos. After over four hours of political maneuvers, loopholes, jeers, insults—and a bit of petty theft thrown in for good measure—the election for Senate President was postponed until Saturday lunchtime.