Power

How transparent will Brazil’s 2020 elections be?

Corporate money still rules Brazilian elections
Photo: Andrzej Rostek/Shutterstock

Back in 2017, Brazilian lawmakers approved the end of private campaign financing. After dozens of scandals involving major corporations supporting candidates in a quid pro quo manner, there was a growing consensus that removing the possibility of private groups funding political races was the only way to make the system more credible. Last year, Brazil had its first elections under the new rules.

The 2018 budget set aside BRL 1.7 billion for Brazilian parties to spend, split according to each one’s representation in the lower house. For 2020, the political establishment decided to amend the rules—reducing transparency...

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