On May 21, the Workers’ Party filed an impeachment request against President Jair Bolsonaro — the 35th such petition now sitting on House Speaker Rodrigo Maia’s desk. The party bases its document on the accusations made by former Justice Sergio Moro, who claimed Mr. Bolsonaro tried to illegally meddle with the Federal Police. The request, however, is merely rhetorical, and has absolutely no chance of moving forward.
While impeachment talks have stopped being taboo in Brasília, it remains far from a tangible reality, for a few reasons. Despite his rising rejection rates, Mr. Bolsonaro has managed to hold on to the support of a sizable 25-to-30 percent of the electorate — not a huge amount, but probably enough to keep him in office. Furthermore, Brazil is facing its worst pandemic in a century and opening impeachment proceedings would completely halt the federal administration — making a bad situation even worse. Thirdly, there is the “Mourão Risk.” Unlike past impeachments, this time around, no one knows exactly what to expect from the Vice President, retired Army General Hamilton Mourão.