To borrow a phrase from historian Eric Hobsbawm, Brazil lives in an era of extremes. On one side, we have far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who has launched a new political party with “Judeo-Christian” values and staunch opposition to gun control at its core. On the other side, we have the Workers’ Party. While remaining a center-left force, the party led by former President Lula has opted for more radical rhetoric—galvanizing anti-Bolsonaro voters but alienating those in the center.
Spearheaded by House Speaker Rodrigo Maia, a group of political parties is trying to pander precisely to this “neither, nor” group—the section of the electorate that is neither a fan of Jair Bolsonaro, nor a Lula believer. Simply called “Center,” Mr. Maia and his allies are trying to emerge as a viable force between the Workers’ Party and Bolsonarism.