Power

Bolsonaro’s ineffectiveness creates de facto parliamentarism

maia bolsonaro congress
Jair Bolsonaro (L) and Speaker Rodrigo Maia

Brazilian philosopher Roberto Romano once compared Brazil’s presidency to a giant with clay feet. “He is mighty and all, but his power is also fragile. Without Congress to support him, the giant will crumble,” he said. We’re seeing that on full display under President Jair Bolsonaro. After shunning Congress, his administration has been collecting defeat upon defeat since the legislative year began, on February 1.

The latest blow came as the Special Budget Committee decided to take Brazil’s money laundering enforcement agency (Coaf) from under Justice Minister Sergio Moro’s jurisdiction, and...

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